Date
22 November 2017
Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan hailed the efforts of the Hospital Authority in responding to the surge in flu cases this summer. Photo: TVB
Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan hailed the efforts of the Hospital Authority in responding to the surge in flu cases this summer. Photo: TVB

Summer flu season has passed its peak, health chief says

Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said the summer flu outbreak is likely to have peaked after she noticed a slight drop in cases in public hospitals in the past week.

“We believe the summer flu outbreak is likely to have passed its peak,” Professor Chan said after visiting the Prince of Wales Hospital and holding a meeting with professionals from the Hospital Authority’s New Territories East Cluster on Thursday.

“While the number of cases tends to remain high, there is a slight drop in the accident and emergency attendances in public hospitals in the past week.”

The summer surge of flu cases is “something that we have not expected”, she told media.

Chan said the overstretched public hospitals are under much pressure during peak flu seasons amid an aging population and the demand from patients with chronic diseases.

“It seems that the growth of service is yet to catch up with the demand, so we have to see what we can do to fill that end,” she said.

Still, Chan hailed the efforts of the Hospital Authority, particularly its quick response with a number of short-term measures, including getting some beds from private hospitals and tapping more part-time doctors.

“In the long term, we have to deal with the manpower problem so it can truly reflect the service demand,” she said.

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BN/CG

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