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LCQ11: Regulation and hygiene conditions of multi-purpose party venues in industrial buildings
     Following is a question by the Hon Wilson Or and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, in the Legislative Council today (November 8):


     It has been reported that in October last year, there was an outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis, in which 11 adults and 13 children were infected, at a multi-purpose party venue with children play facilities which was located in an industrial building. In October this year, an outbreak of the same infectious disease occurred at a venue of the same type located in another industrial building, in which 11 adults and 10 children were infected. The two cases have caused public concern about the regulation and hygiene conditions of such type of venues.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council: 

(1) whether it has compiled statistics on the current number of venues of the aforesaid type which are located in industrial buildings across the territory; if so, of the details;

(2) whether the operators of such type of venues are required to apply for a licence; if so, whether the operators of the two aforesaid venues have obtained the relevant licences; and 

(3) whether it has any mechanism put in place at present to monitor the hygiene and operation of such type of venues; if so, whether the mechanism includes regular inspections of such venues by health inspectors; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     In consultation with the bureaux and departments concerned, the consolidated reply is in the ensuing paragraphs. 

     The multi-purpose party venues mentioned in the question are not places of public entertainment. Hence, no application for permission from government departments is required for carrying out activities in the venues. The Government does not keep statistics on the number of multi-purpose party venues which are located in industrial buildings across the territory at present. 

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is responsible for the investigation and control of communicable disease outbreaks. Generally speaking, the CHP will carry out epidemiological investigation immediately upon receipt of notification of communicable disease outbreaks related to play facilities. The CHP will also conduct site visits at the play facilities concerned and provide health advice to the persons responsible for the venues on necessary infection control and prevention measures against communicable diseases. Besides, the play facilities and the affected persons will also be put under medical surveillance.  The CHP will inform the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department of cases for appropriate follow-ups regarding the environmental hygiene conditions of the venues. 

     In addition, the CHP has developed relevant public health advice for play facilities to prevent the spread of communicable diseases in these facilities. Responsible persons of the play facilities and the public may visit the website of the CHP for the advice. 

     The CHP has issued press releases on October 5, 2016 and October 18, 2017 respectively on the cases concerned (www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201610/05/P2016100500666.htm?fontSize=1 and www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201710/18/P2017101800872.htm? fontSize=1).
Ends/Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:30
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