World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun said in Geneva on Tuesday that she “quite understands and supports” the local government’s plan to build an infectious disease centre, according to a statement by Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng’s office on Wednesday.
The WHO chief met a Macau delegation led by Tam during the ongoing six-day World Health Assembly (WHA) in the Swiss city’s Palace of Nations, the statement says.
According to the statement, Chan praised the local government for its achievement in providing public healthcare services, as well as its prevention and control of infectious diseases, and she also said the local government had achieved “excellent results” in building its public health network.
During the meeting, Tam talked to Chan about “the positive affirmation made by the World Health Organisation Regional Office for the Western Pacific’s group of experts after inspecting the Conde de Sao Januario Hospital Centre’s infectious disease centre expansion plan in Macau”, according to the statement.
“[Margaret] Chan Fung Fu-chun said [she] quite understands and supports the Macau Special Administrative Region government’s relevant plan,” the statement adds”.
Chan, a former director of Hong Kong’s Department of Health, assumed her WHO post in 2007. Her second term ends in June 2017.
Some residents living near the government’s chosen site for the centre near the public hospital on Guia Hill have expressed strong opposition to the project, saying they worry that the centre would not be safe and could pose a health risk to those who live, study and work nearby.
WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Shin Young-soo said in Macau last month that a WHO expert team which visited the city in March determined that the air expelled from the “highly effective filtration facility of the planned centre will be safe, according to the government.