Macau, Hong Kong and mainland officials decided during a weekend meeting in Zhuhai to step up surveillance of live poultry and poultry products bound for Hong Kong and Macau, by increasing the sample size and frequency of farm inspections, The Macau Post Daily reports today.
Macau and Hong Kong officials met representatives of the central government’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection & Quarantine (GAQSIQ) and those in charge of food inspection and quarantine for Guangdong, Hainan, Shenzhen and Zhuhai on Sunday.
The trilateral meeting was called in response to the current H7N9 avian influenza outbreak affecting residents in the mainland’s eastern region including Shanghai and to ensure the safety of live poultry and poultry products supplied to Macau and Hong Kong.
To strengthen prevention and control measures against the virus, special testing methods will be developed, testing standards and results will be validated, and technical training will be provided, the meeting decided.
At Sunday’s Zhuhai meeting Hong Kong and Macau vowed to work closely with the mainland authorities and keep them informed of any infected birds, in which case poultry will be culled and mainland poultry imports suspended to minimise the risk of an outbreak in the two special administrative regions.
The Macau government said in a separate statement Monday that it had sent a medical delegation to Shanghai to study the commercial hub’s anti-H7N9 measures.
Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On told reporters in Hainan Monday that his government was paying close attention to the H7N9 situation and promised that the local authorities would do their best to tackle the menace. He urged residents to keep themselves up-to-date on the latest H7N9 developments.
The government also said Monday that so far no suspected case had been detected in Macau.
Chui, who has meanwhile returned to Macau after attending the three-day Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2013, also said the local government would continue talks with the mainland authorities to achieve 24/7 land-border checkpoint operations between Macau and Zhuhai.(macaunews)