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Director of Health issues isolation order to control human swine flu

Director of Health issues isolation order to control human swine flu

2009-05-02
The Director of Health, Dr PY Lam, had ordered Metropark Hotel in Wan Chai to be isolated starting yesterday (May 1) to prevent the spread of human swine flu (Influenza A H1N1), a Government spokesman said.

The order was issued following the confirmation of the first human swine flu (H1N1) in Hong Kong which involved a 25-year-old Mexican man. The man stayed in the hotel after arriving from Mexico via Shanghai on April 30.

The order, designed to protect the health of the community as a whole, was issued by the Director of Health under Section 25 of the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap 599).

The order requires all staff and lodgers to be remained in the hotel. Some of them will be removed to Lady Maclehose Holiday Village, a designated isolation camp, today (May 2). They will be quarantined for a period of seven days.

Public health personnel from the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health have conducted health inspections for people staying in the hotel. Those who have developed flu-like symptoms will be sent to hospital for treatment.

Staff of the Food and Environment Hygiene Department will conduct thorough cleasning and disinfection in the hotel.

"We do understand that the measures that we have now taken will cause lodgers great inconvenience. But because of the very special circumstances that we now face, we have no choice but resort to this exceptional measure and we sincerely ask for their forbearance, understanding and support in joining the community's fight against this disease." the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, CHP has started tracing people with opportunities to have contact with the patient.

Travellers boarding AeroMexico (flight no. AM98) from Tijuana to Shanghai on April 29 or China Eastern Airlines (flight no. MU505) from Shanghai to Hong Kong on April 30, or those stayed in the hotel on the same day and have left are urged to call the CHP hotline 2125 1111 to facilitate prompt investigations by the health authority.

Ends/Saturday, May 2, 2009