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Personal, home and environmental hygiene are key to fighting pandemic threat

     In view of the growing global prevalence of the human swine influenza (Influenza A H1N1) as well as the occurrence of an imported case in Hong Kong about a week ago, the Government has called on the public to pay extra attention to personal, home and environmental hygiene.

     A Government spokesman said today (May 8) that good personal, home and environmental hygiene are the key to fighting the threat of a pandemic.  Therefore, the promotion of individual and community-wide involvement in keeping to the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene would be the first line of prevention against disease outbreak.

     To call for proactive community-wide action, a guide to personal, home and environmental hygiene "Keep Clean, Be Healthy" has been produced.  The booklets will be sent to all households by Hong Kong Post starting next Monday (May 11).

     The spokesman noted that the Government had put in place stringent measures to contain the spread of the disease, but the task could not be done without the fullest support of the community on hygiene and cleanliness.

     "Promoting a cleaner and healthier living environment can only be achieved by the observance of good personal, household and public hygiene," he said.

     With the joint efforts of the Government, District Councils, non-governmental organisations and various business associations, a wide variety of clean Hong Kong activities have already commenced to promote a clean and healthy environment while fighting against the pandemic threat.  These include activities organised by the 18 District Councils to appeal for enhanced cleaning of public areas, rear lanes, as well as private buildings involving owners' corporations and mutual aid committees.  

     "We are highly encouraged by the actions which are planned or have been taken by private companies and public utilities in ensuring that public transport vehicles, shopping malls, work sites, cinemas and restaurants are properly cleaned and disinfected," the spokesman said.

     On the part of the Government, various government departments have already enhanced the cleaning of the venues and premises under their purview.  The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has stepped up the cleaning of streets and roads, public markets, public toilets, etc.  The Housing Department has increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfection at public rental housing estates and encouraged members of Estate Management Advisory Committees to participate in the hygiene campaigns. The Lands Department has undertaken a programme to maintain cleanliness and cut grass on all vacant government sites.  The Leisure and Cultural Services Department has enhanced the cleanliness of parks, sports centres and public libraries, while the Home Affairs Department has raised the frequency of cleaning at community halls/ community centres and public enquiry service centres.  

     Among these activities, many will be held on May 10 (Sunday) to focus the participation by various sectors and the community as a whole.  As May 10 is also "Mother's Day", a day for family gathering, it is also a good occasion for participation by the whole family in this meaningful exercise.

     The Clean Hong Kong efforts must be a sustained process.  The Government, the District Councils and non-governmental bodies will, in the weeks and months ahead, continue to raise public awareness and organise various activities to keep the environment clean and facilitate the building of a habit of good personal and environmental hygiene.

Ends/Friday, May 8, 2009
Issued at HKT 17:43


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