About 20 representatives from Hong Kong's health sectors on Wednesday took part in the first regional exercise on influenza pandemic organized by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in fears of possible human-to- human transmission of bird flu.
The one-day desk-top APEC Pandemic Response Exercise 2006 is part of the APEC Initiative on Preparing for and Mitigating an Influenza Pandemic, which committed all its members to maintain effective surveillance, transparency and openness, close coordination and cooperation when facing possible massive flu infections.
The exercise scenario concerns the very likely human-to-human transmission of avian flu in countries or regions, which may lead to a pandemic level in the Asia Pacific region.
A spokesman for Hong Kong Department of Health said that no ground movement was involved as the focus of the exercise was to test the effectiveness of the APEC members in sharing information and providing regional assistance while providing advice to bordering economies and other regional partners.
"The exercise enabled us to critically review the communication aspects of a public health emergency," the spokesman said, adding that the shortcomings will be fine tuned to further gear up Hong Kong's preparedness.