Mainland authorities have agreed to cooperate with Hong Kong health and immigration officials to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, RTHK reported on Friday.
The mainland, which hosts a large African community, will immediately inform Hong Kong of any suspected or confirmed cases of the disease in the country.
There is no direct flight between Hong Kong and West Africa, making it difficult for local immigration staff to recognize travelers coming from affected regions, Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said during his visit to Beijing.
“There is low risk for the Ebola virus to spread in Hong Kong, and we are able to identify the virus and isolate the patient once a case is confirmed,” he said, adding that the city has the technology to conduct rapid testing on suspected cases.
Princess Margaret Hospital’s Infectious Disease Center has been designated as the point of care for suspected and confirmed cases, as part of the city’s new arrangements to combat the virus.
“When the ambulance reaches the hospital’s accident and emergency department, the patient can stay in the ambulance, while the medics from the hospital, with protective gear, can have a pre-check of the patient,” Ko said.
“If it’s a suspected Ebola case, the patient will immediately be transferred in the same ambulance to the PMH center,” he added.
Also, airports and various entry checkpoints have stepped up surveillance of incoming travelers and are distributing guidance for travelers from affected regions. All airline companies have informed their passengers about the city’s new rules on the Ebola virus, the report said.
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