Macau raised epidemic alert to level 5, no case reported

Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Issue 706, Page 3
Word count: 461
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi Natalie) Leung

The Macau government yesterday raised its epidemic alert to level 5 on a six-level scale as prompted by the community spread of Influenza A (H1N1) reported in Japan.

The Health Bureau of Macau (SSM) at the same time announced tougher preventive measures including at hospitals and schools, where no more visits to in-patients will be allowed except by applications and students’ body temperature will be checked two times a day.

To date, no suspected or confirmed case of Influenza A (H1N1) was reported in Macau.

However, a family of five from the Philippines, who were on board the May 15 CX831 flight from New York to Hong Kong as the infected 23-year-old Guangdong man, came to Macau last Sunday and stayed at the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel.

The married couple together with their children aged from eight to 14, who all showed no flu symptoms, were sent to the hospital for diagnostic speed tests yesterday and results were negative for Influenza A (H1N1).

As a precaution these five tourists have been sent to the Coloane Youth Hostel for quarantine until May 23.

According to SSM director Lei Chin Ion at a press conference, Macau residents who are studying abroad in North America or Japan are called to adopt preventive measures.

Lei said they should receive medical treatment there if feel sick and not take any long-haul transportation.

All related medical expenses arisen outbound will be settled by the SAR government.

In addition, the Macau International Airport will reinforce quarantine on passengers who fly from Japan and a temporary quarantine station is already on standby.

The Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) will request parents to check their children’s temperature before going to school, or a temperature monitoring station will be set up at school entrances.

Teachers will also be assigned to check students’ health conditions two times a day.

Ventilation at campuses will be fostered and common facilities will be sterilised more often.

The SSM at the same time recommended postponing all inter-school student events and large-scale social, cultural or sport activities in the community. If assemblies are necessary, participants’ health conditions should be checked in advance.

On the other hand, the Conde de São Januário Hospital (CHCSJ) will no longer allow people to go visit in-patients, except in special circumstances when an approval is obtained.

All individuals entering the hospital area are also obligated to wear face masks.

The SSM again urged all residents who are planning to travel abroad to be aware of the influenza evolvement in the destination and to strictly maintain personal hygiene.

The body temperature scanning equipment at various border checkpoints operated on more than 150,000 people yesterday and no unusual situation was found.

The CHCSJ also treated 120 children and 62 adults with respiratory illness.

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