|HK to tighten quarantine laws to deal with Wuhan pneumonia|
The Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said today the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance will be amended, giving legal powers to health authorities to quarantine patients suspected of being infected with an unidentified virus after visiting Wuhan, RTHK reports.
She told reporters ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting that the government is looking to gazette the amendment within this week.
The Hubei capital Wuhan has been investigating an outbreak of the disease among people who visited a seafood market that sells live game. At least 59 people in Wuhan have fallen ill from the mystery virus, with seven of them listed as serious cases.
Lam said there is a problem in that the pneumonia-like illness has yet to be categorized.
The authorities in Hong Kong will now list it as a new kind of infectious disease that can affect the respiratory tract, she said.
Lam said health checks have been further stepped up at border points, with all passengers aboard two high-speed trains that pass through Wuhan each day required to go through extra temperature checks.
She also urged people to beware of fake information circulating online. She stressed that the SAR has not received any cases confirmed to be linked to the disease in Wuhan so far.
A total of 21 cases of people falling ill after visiting Wuhan within the past two weeks were reported to Hong Kong health authorities, seven of the patients have since been discharged and the rest were in stable condition.
Health officials have asked doctors and hospitals to inform them of any patients who have recently visited Wuhan. But this is currently only being done on a voluntary basis.
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