Govt to hold daily updates on mystery illness - RTHK
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Govt to hold daily updates on mystery illness

2020-01-02 HKT 23:21
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  • The Health Secretary, Sophia Chan, said the government will start giving daily updates on suspected cases it receives from the Hospital Authority, and is taking other measures to protect its borders. Photo: RTHK
    The Health Secretary, Sophia Chan, said the government will start giving daily updates on suspected cases it receives from the Hospital Authority, and is taking other measures to protect its borders. Photo: RTHK
The government has unveiled precautionary measures it's taken in response to an outbreak of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, including daily briefings.

On New Year's Eve, officials in Wuhan announced that several clinics and hospitals in the city had received patients suffering from pneumonia and the cause was not known.

Twenty-seven people were reported by mainland media to have been infected, with seven of them seriously ill.

The Hospital Authority said it had notified the government of three cases in which it treated patients for pneumonia symptoms after visiting Wuhan recently.

The Authority said a female patient in Tuen Mun Hospital and a male teenager in Tai Po Nethersole Hospital have since been discharged, but a woman is still being treated in Princess Margaret Hospital.

The Health Secretary, Sophia Chan, told a news briefing late on Thursday that the three cases are not linked to the mysterious Sars-like disease in Wuhan, because the patients did not visit the seafood market that's believed to be the source of the virus.

However, she said the government will start giving daily updates on suspected cases it receives from the Hospital Authority, and it's also taking other measures to protect its borders

"There are heightened procedures. There are increased procedures - surveillance procedures - that both the Hospital Authority as well as the Department of Health have taken," Chan said.

From Friday, additional thermal imaging systems will be put in place in the Hong Kong International Airport to check the body temperature of inbound travellers from Wuhan.

For all boundary control points including Hong Kong West Kowloon Station of the Express Rail Link, fever patients with acute respiratory symptoms who have visited wet markets or seafood markets in Wuhan within 14 days prior to the onset of the illness will be referred to public hospitals.

The MTR Corporation, the Airport Authority, and airlines have also been advised to step up disinfection measures for Wuhan services.

The Sars epidemic in 2003 infected more than 1,700 people in Hong Kong and killed almost 300.

The disease, which is from the same family of viruses as the common cold, emerged in Guangdong province at the end of 2002. It spread to more than 30 countries infecting over 8,000 people, with 744 deaths in total.
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Last updated: 2020-01-03 HKT 05:05