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Flu exercise tests readiness

January 25, 2013
The Government tested its preparedness plan for an influenza pandemic today, in an exercise the Centre for Health Protection organised in collaboration with other government departments and organisations.
Secretary for Food & Health Dr Ko Wing-man said the exercise provided an opportunity to test operations under revised contingency plans. It also served to enhance community and healthcare personnel awareness, preparedness and the ability to respond to possible epidemics, he said.
The exercise scenario was one in which the response level was raised to ‘emergency’, and Hong Kong had 300 local cases and 40 fatal cases of novel influenza, a strain recently identified in overseas countries.
About 100 participants from relevant government departments and organisations took part, with 15 experts from the Mainland and Macau health authorities attending as observers.
Dr Ko said the Government’s surveillance showed that influenza activity had increased, and Hong Kong may enter a flu season. About 400,000 people have received vaccinations through Government programmes launched last year.
He urged people, especially high risk groups such as healthcare workers, to receive vaccinations. People should avoid wild birds and live poultry, he said, and not eat exotic food.