Stringent control must continue

January 21, 2020

The Government immediately implemented stringent control measures to protect residents in response to the cluster of viral pneumonia cases in Wuhan.


Hong Kong University Chair of Infectious Diseases Prof Yuen Kwok-yung made the statement today.


He explained that experts in other countries have commented that the Government is being overly cautious.


“Hong Kong is very stringent about all these control measures at this stage. And in fact, in some other places, doctors and scientists say that Hong Kong is already overdoing it.


“We have put the response level at the serious level already. Most places would put it at alert level, which is one level down.”


Prof Yuen stressed that the Government will maintain a state vigilance due to Hong Kong’s past experience with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).


“When you do so much work, it is expensive, and it gives some degree of inconvenience to citizens, especially travellers. The reason why we do that is because we had a painful experience from SARS."


At that time almost 2,000 people were infected and 300 died as a result, he said.


He further noted that adhering to such strict measures is working.


“We are walking at least three steps ahead of the epidemic. And in fact our cases show that all the suspected cases that we tested are not due to novel coronavirus. I think that actually shows that the measures we are taking are going to work, even if there are imported cases.


“We must continue to improve these measures to ensure that our healthcare workers are complying with all these screenings, testing, isolation procedures and personal protection.”

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