HONG KONG, July 9 (Xinhua) -- The Secretary for Food and
Health of Hong Kong York Chow Wednesday announced the scale down of the response
level for avian influenza from "serious" to "alert".
After the detection of H5N1 avian influenza in
environmental samples collected from poultry stalls in Po On Road Market, Sham
Shui Po, on June 7, the government had raised the response level to "serious".
With more environmental samples from three other
retail markets found to have the virus on June 11, live chicken trading in Hong
Kong was suspended for 21 days.
The government implemented a ban on overnight
stocking of live poultry in retail outlets when live chicken sales resumed on
July 2 to reduce the risk of avian flu outbreaks.
The measure has been put into place for a week and
market operations have been generally smooth, environmental hygiene with
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation
Department of the government has collected samples from chicken farms, the
wholesale market and retail outlets and tested them for H5N1 virus. All results
"The government has decided to scale down the
response level after assessing the present risk posed by avian influenza, taking
into account the above factors," Chow said.
He appealed to the public to remain vigilant and pay
attention to personal and environmental hygiene in order to prevent avian flu.