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Exercise Jadeite tests Government response to infectious disease (with photos/video)

     The preparedness of government departments and relevant organisations to respond effectively to a major infectious disease incident was today (January 9) put to the test during an exercise organised by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH), in collaboration with other government departments and organisations.
     Code-named Jadeite, the exercise aims to test interdepartmental procedures and government contingency actions for the isolation and evacuation of a building and to enhance preparedness and interdepartmental co-ordination and co-operation.

     The exercise provided a valuable opportunity for the DH and other departments and organisations concerned to try out relevant contingency plans and identify areas for improvement. It also enhanced community and healthcare personnel awareness, preparedness and the ability to detect and respond to possible epidemics.

     Today's multi-agency exercise focused on ground movements taking place in Hung Hom Estate Phase Two as well as the flow of information among the field command and various participating parties.
     The exercise scenario unfolded when the CHP received notification of two confirmed cases of severe disease X, a disease caused by a new form of virus recently identified in Hong Kong.

     The CHP immediately started investigation into the two index patients - a man and a woman living on different floors of Block Three in Hung Hom Estate Phase Two. The male patient died shortly after admission to hospital while the female patient was admitted in critical condition.

     The CHP subsequently advised the isolation of Block Three, evacuation of its residents and disinfection of the building after field investigation by the Multi-disciplinary Response Team identified possible environmental factors contributing to the cluster of cases.

     The Director of Health, upon advice from the Controller, CHP, issued an isolation order for the building. Symptomatic residents in the same block were identified and sent to the Princess Margaret Hospital for isolation. Residents who were asymptomatic were sent to a quarantine centre.

     The exercise ended with disinfection of the building and an assessment by the Multi-disciplinary Response Team to gauge if the building was ready for re-occupation.
     Over 200 participants from government departments and organisations took part in the exercise, with 18 experts from the Mainland and Macao health authorities acting as observers.

Ends/Monday, January 9, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:34


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