Monday, May 13, 2013

China | Hong Kong – DH and HA meet to review latest global situation of novel #coronavirus infection

 [editing is mine]
By On May 13, 2013

Representatives from the Department of Health (DH) and the Hospital Authority (HA) met today (May 13) to review the latest global situation of Severe Respiratory Disease associated with Novel Coronavirus in view of the occurrence of a 15-person outbreak in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) associated with a health-care facility and a possible nosocomial transmission in France.


Speaking at a media session after the meeting, the Controller of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the DH, Dr Leung Ting-hung, expressed concern over the latest global development of the disease.

“These outbreaks illustrated the potential of novel coronavirus to spread through health-care facilities and close contacts. However, there is so far no evidence that this virus has the capacity to sustain generalised transmission in communities. The outbreak in the health-care facility in the KSA suggested that patients with multiple comorbidities in health-care facilities may have had increased susceptibility to infection or severe disease,” Dr Leung said.
“The reservoir, mode of transmission and extent of infection in the community are still being investigated by the World Health Organization and relevant health authorities,” Dr Leung said, adding that the CHP will closely monitor the developments on novel coronavirus infection and assess their impact to Hong Kong.

He advised health-care workers as well as public and private hospitals to maintain vigilance against novel coronovirus infection, especially adhering to strict infection control practices when handling suspected cases.

Also speaking at the media session, the Associate Consultant of the Chief Infection Control Officer’s Office of the HA, Dr Vivien Chuang, said, “The Authority has adopted the ‘early notification, early isolation and early detection’ strategy in response to Severe Respiratory Disease associated with Novel Coronavirus. The Accident and Emergency Departments of public hospitals will screen patients based on FTOCC (Fever, Travel, Occupation, Contact and Clustering) criteria. Any patients who meet the clinical and epidemiological criteria will be placed in a negative pressure room with a mask on while waiting for further clinical assessment. Full Personal Protective Equipment should be worn for all staff in handling the suspected cases, including N95 respirator, eye protection, gown and gloves.”
Dr Chuang added, “The CHP will also be notified immediately and specimens will be collected and sent for rapid testing with the result available within 24 hours. Suspected and confirmed cases would be isolated in a negative pressure room with en suite facility.”


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