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SED calls for health alert in schools (with photos/video)

     The Secretary for Education (SED), Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, today (April 11) visited St Francis' Canossian School in Wan Chai to see for himself the implementation of precautionary measures against Influenza A (H7N9) in the school. He appealed to all schools in Hong Kong to stay vigilant and make every effort to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

     Accompanying the SED were the Under Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, and the Assistant Director of Health (Health Promotion), Dr Regina Ching. They were briefed by the school management on its preventive works, such as raising the level of alertness and setting up a crisis management team to map out and co-ordinate various preventive measures against influenza.

     These measures include strengthening home-school co-operation, under which parents undertake to check the body temperature of their children on a daily basis and the records are entered into the student handbooks. If the students are feeling unwell, they will seek medical consultation immediately and stay at home for adequate rest. For students arriving at the school, teachers will check their body temperature again on a random basis. Health education is also provided for the students to raise their health awareness. In addition, the school management has paid particular attention to the environmental hygiene of the school premises and stepped up cleanliness and disinfection works.

     After the completion of the recent long holiday and the resumption of classes, the overall health condition of the students and the absenteeism records of the school remain at the normal level.

     Mr Ng was pleased to note that all the schools in general had stepped up measures to guard against communicable diseases. He said, "The Government is very concerned about the risk posed by Influenza A (H7N9) and various bureaux and departments have maintained close liaison and strengthened preventive and control measures in all aspects.

     "We have already provided the Guidelines on Prevention of Communicable Diseases for schools to guard against communicable diseases. The Guidelines could be downloaded from the Education Bureau (EDB) website for easy reference. Earlier on, we have also issued a letter to schools, together with the health advice given by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH), to remind them to stay vigilant for the prevention of Influenza A (H7N9)."

     He added that the EDB and the CHP would continue to join hands to provide schools with timely advice and guidelines on the prevention and control of communicable diseases.

     To increase school personnel's understanding about Influenza A (H7N9) and Severe Respiratory Disease associated with Novel Coronavirus, the EDB in collaboration with the CHP will organise a number of health talks for schools in April and May. Healthcare staff from the DH will share their expertise on the prevention and control of communicable diseases. The first talk will be held on April 24 at CCC Heep Woh Primary School (Cheung Sha Wan).

Ends/Thursday, April 11, 2013
Issued at HKT 09:58


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