Written by: Cui Zheng Zheng
2020-01-26 12:12Last updated: 2020-01-26 12:12
The epidemic of Wuhan pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus continues to spread globally. Some experts in Hong Kong recently suggested that Hong Kong be “closed”. Some medical staff also requested that any passengers be prevented from entering China through China, otherwise industrial action would be initiated.
The Secretary for Food and Health, Chen Zhaoshi, reiterated today (26th) that complete "customs clearance" is not feasible. The Hong Kong Government will consider measures to strengthen import and export control, and is reviewing specific methods, and when and how to do it most effectively. When asked whether the mainland authorities could agree to strengthen the immigration control, she said that when the measures were introduced, only operational issues would be considered, which had nothing to do with the feelings of the mainland authorities, and said that measures involving relevant units in the Mainland would be implemented Both parties need to coordinate.
▼ Hong Kong's first confirmed case of new coronavirus ▼
Signed joint prevention and control agreement with Guangdong Province
Chen Zhaoshi said that the Hong Kong Government currently adopts a containment strategy to block, isolate, and heal. The Hong Kong Government and Guangdong Province have signed an agreement on joint prevention and joint control, and will report on events related to major public health accidents. Some cities have taken the temperature of outbound tourists. If a fever is found, they will be restricted from leaving the country, and some cities have not implemented it.
Asked again whether Hong Kong should "close the customs", Chen Zhaoshi said that the government has responded to related matters at a press conference yesterday. At present, all ports in Hong Kong have established health declaration systems and temperature monitoring. They reiterate that it is not feasible to completely "close customs". The Hong Kong Government will consider different measures to strengthen import and export control, and is reviewing specific methods, as well as effectiveness and feasibility. For example, it will consider shortening customs clearance time.
Chen Zhaoshi reiterated that customs clearance is not feasible because of operational considerations rather than consideration of the Mainland. (Profile picture / Photo by Yu Junliang)
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When asked when health declaration could be implemented at all ports, she pointed out that the government was "implementing at full speed," and that it was difficult to underestimate the complexity of implementation, such as where to evaluate forms to be distributed, where to fill out for customs clearance, and if there were problems with the information The citizen must be immediately retrieved. She pointed out that during the New Year, there were a lot of people crossing the border, and they arrived at the border by different means of transport, and the government should ensure smooth procedures. And if electronic health declaration is feasible, it is expected to accelerate the implementation of health declaration at all ports.
Macau has just confirmed that a confirmed person entered Macau via Hong Kong and Macau Ferry Terminal via Hong Kong on January 23, and Chen Zhaoshi did not respond positively to whether he was notified, and said that any port has the opportunity to have such cases, so monitoring at the port Importantly, those who suspect they are close contacts can call the Hong Kong Government Hotline to inform the authorities.
Chen: Citizens should wear masks when they want to protect themselves
Regarding whether she would call on all people to wear masks, she said that if the public feels that they want to wear masks to protect themselves, they should wear it, for example, in service industries such as drivers, when crowded, or at high risk, they should also wear masks. When asked whether the government would buy masks and sell them to the public at a reasonable price, she said that she would not rule out any way to help the citizens.
▼ National Alert on the Spread of Pneumonia in Wuhan ▼
Wuhan Pneumonia Center for Health Protection, Department of Health, Food and Health Bureau, Wuhan Hospital Administration