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MERS liaison defended

June 09, 2015

Secretary for Food & Health Dr Ko Wing-man has refuted suggestions of lax communication between Government agencies over the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome outbreak in Korea.


He told the media today the Food & Health Bureau has maintained close contact with the Security Bureau on the issue.


The issuing of the Red Outbound Travel Alert this morning will help travellers who have purchased flight tickets or made hotel bookings to adjust their travel plans, he said, accepting criticism the Government issued the alert at short notice.


He said the Government will consider implementing a new mechanism to notify travellers of health risks.


Speaking on Hong Kong’s MERS precautions, Dr Ko said the Government has classified all inbound travellers from South Korea with respiratory symptoms as suspected MERS cases, since raising its responsiveness level for the disease to 'serious' yesterday.


More than 10 patients have been sent to hospital for check-ups since then.


Although the number of confirmed MERS cases in Korea announced today is less than yesterday, Dr Ko said further observation is required to assess whether the disease is under control in the country.