Date
20 January 2017
As there is no evidence of person-to-person transmission of MERS, it is unnecessary for the government to issue a travel alert, Ko Wing-man says. Photo: RTHK
As there is no evidence of person-to-person transmission of MERS, it is unnecessary for the government to issue a travel alert, Ko Wing-man says. Photo: RTHK

Govt urged to seek Mers info from S Korea

Lawmakers urged the government to seek more information from South Korea about the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, which has killed two people there.

Joseph Lee Kok-long, who represents the health services sector, said at a Legislative Council meeting Wednesday the South Korean government should provide more information about its tourists to Hong Kong.

If it declines to cooperate, the Hong Kong government could consider filing a complaint to the World Health Organization, Lee said.

Fellow legislator Ip Kwok-him suggested that the Hong Kong government carry out health checks on passengers disembarking from flights from South Korea.

Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said that because of the inadequate information from the South Korean government, Hong Kong authorities have taken precautions including advising Hongkongers not to visit medical institutions in that country and issuing an alert to providers of aviation services.

Ko encouraged those who travel to South Korea to wear masks.

However, as there is no evidence of person-to-person transmission of MERS, it is unnecessary for the government to issue a travel alert, Ko said.

He said the WHO has not yet advised any limits or bans on tours to South Korea, as there is no evidence that MERS is widespread in the community.

The government will closely monitor the situation, Ko said.

Earlier, the government had asked South Korean authorities for information, but they were unable to provide much detail.

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CH/JP/FL

EJ Insight intern reporter

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