Macau, HK, China join hands in swine flu prevention efforts
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Local health officials held a video conference yesterday with their counterparts in mainland China and Hong Kong to discuss preventive measures against swine influenza, which had spread rapidly and claimed lives in several countries, but there is no suspected case of swine flu in Macau.The World Health Organisation (WHO) described the situation as a "public health emergency" that deserves international attention and has raised the status of the pandemic alert level III to level IV, indicating that inter-human transmission has occurred.During the video conference, the health officials assessed the development of the virus, shared knowledge and discussed quarantine arrangements, as well as drugs, vaccine, and speed test for the virus.In addition, they agreed to build a contact list to jointly facilitate information exchanges to help prevent the possible pandemic. Firector of the Macau Health Bureau, Lei Chin Ion, director of the Conde S. Januário Hospital, Chan Wai Sin, and experts from Macau’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention took part in the meeting. The health authorities continue to urge the health, educational and social welfare institutions and the public to follow the guidelines issued by the government and individuals are also reminded to maintain good personal hygiene. A round-the-clock hotline of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (853-28561122), has been set up for enquiries. Furthermore, in order to effectively prevent the outbreak of swine flu in Macau, the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) will support social facilities to take preventive measures, through early detection of infected cases and co-operation with the Health Bureau regarding monitoring and treatment.The IAS will organise Monday two explanatory sessions to its staff members and social facilities workers, with Leong Iek Hou from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.In addition, the government will hold a meeting tomorrow for clarification on the outbreak of swine flu and what precautions can be taken at the Health Bureau Administration Building Auditorium from 1.30 pm to 2.30 pm. The meeting will be chaired by Tong Ka Io, co-ordinator of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and open for all health professionals in Macau.