Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, December 18, 2003

HK reviews SARS prevention systems following Taiwan case

Hong Kong's Secretary for Health,Welfare and Food Yeoh Eng-kiong said here Wednesday that Hong Kongis reviewing its SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) prevention systems after the reporting of the Taiwan case.


Hong Kong's Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Yeoh Eng-kiong said in Hong Kong Wednesday that Hong Kong is reviewing its SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) prevention systems after the reporting of the Taiwan case.

Talking about the Taiwan case of SARS reported earlier Wednesday, Yeoh noted that "this is a very good alert for us, a very good warning for us to review our systems."

"We have already been in touch with the hospital authority and Department of Health to make sure that they have instituted the work they need to do with this alert," he said.

Yeoh stated that they have asked the hospital authority to review their precautions, to look at their preparations and review all procedures.

"I have also asked them to particularly pay attention to individuals that may have travelled to Taiwan in case they have symptoms that are suggestive of SARS. So, this is what the hospital authority is currently looking at," he said.

Yeoh has asked the director of health to be in contact with the Taiwan authorities to understand in greater depth relating to the circumstances of that infection.

"So with this alert level, I think we are adequately prepared," he said.

He elaborated that "we have now good preparations, we have now much better facilities and we have adequate protective gear. The Department of Health has a very good surveillance system. Of course, all these are evolving, we can always improve."

Yeoh told the Legislative Council Wednesday that health screening measures are implemented at all border control points for all incoming passengers. These measures also apply to all travelers leaving Hong Kong via the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), seaports, or the Hung Hom Station.

The health screening measures include health declaration and body temperature screening. If a traveler declares sick or shows signs of fever, he or she would be further assessed and, when necessary, referred to public hospitals for further medical examination.

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