HONG KONG, Nov. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government would implement additional precautionary measures to prepare for a possible influenza pandemic caused by avian influenza, a spokesman for the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau said on Wednesday.
According to a government press release on Wednesday, Hong Kong departments concerned have already amended the Prevention of the Spread of Infectious Diseases (Amendment) Regulation 2005.
They have also extended all the provisions on severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) specific border control measures under the Prevention of the Spread of Infectious Diseases Regulations to cover influenza A (H5), influenza A (H7) and influenza A (H9) known as avian influenza.
These provisions will help the Director of Health to implement border control measures for containing the spread of avian influenza if the situation warrants.
The new health regulations, which will take effect on Friday upon gazette, seek to confer on health officers the power to prevent people at-risk of being infected with the disease from leaving Hong Kong.
Certain public officers and authorized persons will also be empowered to stop and detain a person seeking to leave Hong Kong in contravention of such a direction.
The regulations will also facilitate personnel authorized by the director to conduct temperature check and medically examine people arriving in, or leaving Hong Kong for the purpose of ascertaining whether they are likely to be infected with the diseases.
With these provisions, the director would be better placed to contain the cross-border spread of avian influenza, the spokesman said.
"Although we are seeking additional powers under the regulations to prevent the introduction into, the spread in and the transmission from Hong Kong of avian influenza, these powers would be exercised responsibly," the spokesman said. Enditem