Press Releases

SFH on avian influenza (with photo)

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Following is the transcript of remarks made by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, after the meeting of the steering committee on response level under the Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic today (June 6):

Reporter: How long will the suspension go on and did you discuss at the meeting how the days would be calculated?

Secretary for Food and Health: The meeting decided that local live poultry trade could only be resumed after we have completed the inspection of all local poultry farms as well as all specimens taken from these farms were tested to be negative.

Reporter: How would the days be calculated once a specimen was ...?

Secretary for Food and Health: Normally the 21-day suspension period counts from the date when the specimen was confirmed positive. However, the specimen concerned was taken on May 16 and the 21-day period has already passed. So, we have decided that local live poultry trade could be resumed the earliest when inspections of all local poultry farms are completed and all specimens were confirmed negative.

Reporter: There are criticisms that the Government has overreacted in follow-up actions because there is only one sample found in the retail point. What do you make of these criticisms?

Secretary for Food and Health: I think the explanation given by Professor Yuen Kwok-yung earlier on regarding the characteristics of H7N9 infection is adequate to tell why the Government maintains a very stringent level of surveillance and tight control of H7N9 virus. Whilst the virus is of low pathogenicity in poultry, it is of relatively high pathogenicity when human beings are infected.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Monday, June 6, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:13



12 Apr 2019