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Update on local response to latest MERS situation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (June 2) reported the latest local response to the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) exported from Korea to Mainland China.

     As of 5pm today, the CHP's contact tracing had located 29 close contacts and 32 other contacts of the patient. The 19 asymptomatic close contacts in Hong Kong are under quarantine at the quarantine centre in Lady MacLehose Holiday Village while the 32 other contacts are under medical surveillance, including five asymptomatic passengers onboard the same flight as the patient located today.

     Epidemiological investigations and contact tracing are ongoing.

     "We again strongly appeal to passengers onboard OZ 723 of Asiana Airlines who travelled from Korea and arrived in Hong Kong at around 1pm on May 26, and those onboard the three vehicles operated by Eternal East Cross-Border Coach Mgt Ltd on the same day, to call our hotline on 2125 1111 for further assessment or follow-up. It will operate from 9am to 6pm tomorrow (June 3)," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     In addition, the CHP is closely monitoring seven additional MERS cases reported by Korea.

     According to the health authority of Korea, they include five in-patients or their family members in the same hospital ward as the first case from May 15 to 17, and two in-patients in the same ward of another hospital with another confirmed case from May 28 to 30.

     To date, 24 MERS cases have been reported by Korea. In addition, another case was exported from Korea to Mainland China.

     "We will maintain close communication with the World Health Organization and the health authority of Korea. Members of the public and the health-care sector should heighten vigilance and stay alert to the latest situation," the spokesman said.

Ends/Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:48


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