[editing is mine]
Published on: 2013-04-05
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - Following is the transcript of remarks made by the
Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, at a media session on the
enhanced surveillance and control measures in view of the confirmed
human cases of Influenza A (H7N9) in the Mainland at the lobby of West
Wing, Central Government Offices, Tamar, this afternoon (April 5):
for Food and Health: This morning, I convened a meeting with staff of
the Department of Health, the Hospital Authority (HA), the Agriculture,
Fisheries and Conservation Department, as well as the Food and
Environmental Hygiene Department to discuss the spread of the H7N9 virus
in the eastern part of the Mainland and to review our corresponding
preventive and surveillance measures. This afternoon, I briefed the
Chief Secretary and representatives from various bureaux and departments
on the latest development and our preparedness and response plan. The
Chief Secretary has requested all bureaux and departments to work
closely together and reiterated that the Government will provide all
necessary resources and manpower to support the work.
currently remains at the alert level according to the risk assessment
having regard to the development of the latest situation in the eastern
part of the Mainland.
However, we would take the following additional measures to further enhance Hong Kong's preparedness.
Administration has been conducting H7 avian influenza (AI) testing for
wild bird carcasses and samples taken from local chicken farms, poultry
wholesale and retail markets. In the past three years, we have not
detected any H7 AI virus in these specimens.
At present, all live
poultry from the Mainland comes from registered poultry farms in
Guangdong Province, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Hainan Province. Provinces and
cities in the eastern part of the Mainland where H7N9 human cases were
found do not export any live poultry or poultry products to Hong Kong.
Should any poultry be found to be infected with H7 or, for that matter,
H5 AI, we will put in place additional measures according to the
recommendation of the World Organisation for Animal Health. This will
include the suspension of import of Mainland poultry as well as culling
of local poultry.
The Department of Health will also step up the
temperature checking and surveillance at the immigration control points.
Starting from tomorrow, extra manpower from the Auxiliary Medical
Services and the Civil Aid Service, as well as the Health Surveillance
Assistants, will be deployed to all immigration control points to
conduct random temperature checking on travellers by using handheld
temperature devices, in addition to the whole-body infrared temperature
The HA has also stepped up the infection control measures in hospitals.
A team of experts from the HA arrived in Shanghai yesterday to have
exchanges with the experts there on the treatment and surveillance of
Influenza A (H7N9). The delegation will return to Hong Kong this
evening. Once they have returned to Hong Kong, they will be ready to
give a briefing on the result of the study.
Reporter: Do you see any sign of widespread outbreaks in the Mainland, in particular in the eastern part?
for Food and Health: Up to this moment, we know that the Mainland
authority has been very active in investigating the source of the
So far, it was reported that the virus was found in
pigeons and therefore the Municipal Government of Shanghai city has
taken corresponding measures. In the coming days, it will be expected
that more cases might be reported.
Reporter: The Government is
stepping up a series of measures to protect Hong Kong from the new
virus. Does it mean that Hong Kong is under a very serious level of
Secretary for Food and Health: We ought to be prepared
mainly because of the fact that, firstly, the Influenza A (H7N9) has
caused a relatively high mortality among the infected patients up to
Secondly, the outbreak has been extending or
worsening in these two or three days in the eastern part of the
Mainland. That is why there is every reason for us to step up the
infection control preparedness. Thank you.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Source: HKSAR Government