Macau remains free of influenza outbreak

Thursday, May 14, 2009
Issue 701, Page 3
Word count: 455
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Health Bureau (SS) confirmed that no passengers on board the same flight as the Hong Kong man who was yesterday confirmed to be infected with Influenza A (H1N1) have come to Macau.

As of yesterday, Macau did not report any domestic case of suspected or confirmed Influenza A (H1N1) infection.

The neighbouring SAR of Hong Kong yesterday confirmed the second imported case of such new strain of virus.

A 24-year-old Hong Kong resident flew from San Francisco on flight CX879 and arrived in Hong Kong at 7pm on May 11.

According to SS director Lei Chin Ion, the Hong Kong authority did not yet find any passengers on board CX879 had come to Macau in the past three days.

Lei also said that no Macau resident was among the passengers there.

Macau has already received the CX879 passenger name list from Hong Kong and the SS chief said all of the local border checkpoints will keep a close eye on the visitor arrivals accordingly.

In addition, the Chinese Health Ministry yesterday also reported to Macau about the second confirmed case of Influenza A (H1N1) in Shandong Province.

The 19-year-old Chinese man who was studying in a university in Canada arrived in the Shandong capital of Jinan on May 11 after stopping in Beijing for three days.

Lei said the recent findings in Hong Kong and China showed that the influenza virus was still spreading in the world.

However, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, as the community outbreaks (in Mexico and the US) are “far away” from Macau, Lei said the territory’s influenza epidemic alert will retain at level 4.

Meanwhile, Lei said preventive measures will remain in place at hospitals, entry points and the community, and regular communications will still be carried out with counterparts in neighbouring countries and regions as well as the WHO.

The SS director also reiterated that Macau has sufficient Tamiflu, medical isolation facilities and personal protective gear.

Residents and tourists are once again urged to be aware of personal and environmental hygiene, and also to fill in health declaration forms “honestly” as Lei said influenza symptoms do not appear immediately after being infected.

Although Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Chui Sai On has already handed in his resignation to the chief executive on Tuesday and will soon step down from the post of chairman of the contingency co-ordination team for the prevention of influenza pandemic, Lei said it will not impact the co-ordination team’s operation.

On the other hand, the SS statistics indicated that more than 130,000 people had their body temperature scanned at various entry points in Macau yesterday.

The Conde de São Januário Hospital treated 74 children and 46 adults for respiratory illness.

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