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SFH on quarantine at Metropark Hotel (with video)

     Following is a transcript of remarks made by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, at a media stand-up outside Metropark Hotel today (May 8):

Secretary for Food and Health:  I just went into the hotel to ensure that the quarantined people are all healthy.  They all have a certificate of quarantine to certify that they are healthy and will leave this hotel at 8.30 pm.  So whether they are going to stay for a few more days in Hong Kong, or whether they are leaving for the airport, or whether they are going to the land border to cross to the Mainland, they should not have any trouble in entry to their respective destinations.  

     I also have a chance to talk to many of them, people from various countries, including those from the United Kingdom, Australia, France.  We also have many Mainland visitors.  And they are all in a very jovial mood.  They are waiting for the door to be opened at 8.30pm.  More importantly, they thank profusely the people who served them, the staff of the hotel who served them.  And they are also grateful for the care and gratitude shown by Hong Kong people through cards, gifts and messages.  I feel very proud to be a Hong Kong person.  I feel that our community is really a compassionate and caring community.  We also feel that we try our best to ensure that Hong Kong is safe.  But at the same time, these people have sacrificed freedom for seven days to give confidence to our community.  So for that, I would like to thank them and hope that they would have a nice stay in Hong Kong for extra days.  And if they are going back, to have a safe and happy journey.

Reporter: What lessons have you actually learnt? Will you improve the mechanism?

Secretary for Food and Health: I will talk about that in the next few days.  There are many things that we need to review.  We should not be complacent.  As I have said earlier today at the press conference, we need to be assured that next time anybody coming in with the virus, we still have to aim for containment.  So this is an important message for everybody.  I hope that we all learn from this experience that if you care for each other, look after each other, then we will be much safer.  I am very proud of Hong Kong people, for their tolerance and also their understanding as well.  And I would also like to give my gratitude to the hotel management and the hotel staff.  Although they are being quarantined, they still served the guests in the hotel with professionalism and passion.  This is something that I am really proud of.

(Please also refer to the Chinese session of the transcript)

Ends/Friday, May 8, 2009
Issued at HKT 22:26


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