Health Bureau (SSM) Director Lei Chin Ion assured the public Tuesday that his bureau has the expertise and capability of handling any human cases of avian flu.
Lei made remarks in the Legislative Assembly while answering questions from reporters about his bureau’s measures in the wake of this week’s case of a domestic helper in Hong Kong from Indonesia being diagnosed with the H7N9 avian flu virus.
According to The Macau Post Daily, Lei also said there was no indication that there will be an outbreak of H7N9 in Macau. He said that the bureau’s laboratories could identify potential avian flu cases within six hours, commenting that with the government’s past experience in handling avian flu and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreaks in nearby regions, he was confident that his bureau can handle the situation.
Meanwhile, the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) and the Health Bureau released a joint statement yesterday, stating that the IACM was now liaising with the authorities in Shenzhen and Zhuhai as well as Guangdong provincial government officials about the latest avian flu developments.
The statement also said that chickens in Macau are imported from Zhuhai and other parts of Guangdong but not from Shenzhen, adding that poultry wholesalers needed to show valid documentation at border checkpoints before inspectors allow them to bring chicken products into Macau.
Hong Kong’s first confirmed H7N9 patient is reported to have frequently bought chickens in Shenzhen.(macaunews)