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SFH on North Lantau Hospital incident, food poisoning and blood tests

     Following is the transcript of remarks made by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, after attending a public function today (August 9):

Reporter: (about the North Lantau Hospital incident and food poisoning)

Secretary for Food and Health: The hospital staff, once they knew about the incident, followed the correct procedure to notify the medical and nursing colleagues of the Accident and Emergency Department. Our medical staff took a few minutes, not a long time, to gather some necessary equipment for first aid and resuscitation. Before they reached the scene, our security colleagues found an ambulance happened to pass by. Therefore, the ambulance personnel arrived at the scene first. They had given appropriate resuscitation, and then subsequently escorted the patient to the hospital for further treatment. Of course, the Hospital Authority will follow up with a much more detailed report.

     For the second question, when we are talking about many types of easily decay food, especially under the very hot weather like these few days, I think we ought to take precautions in handling and storage of this food stuff as it would easily rotten. Bacteria are all around us, if we properly handle the ready-to-eat food and store it in low temperature, the bacteria will not multiply.  A small amount of bacteria might not cause illness, however, if we do not take measures to store perishable food in proper conditions, the bacteria will rapidly multiply and cause illness.

Reporter: (about blood testing for affected residents)

Secretary for Food and Health: Up to this moment, around 2 700 to 2 800 residents have registered for blood testing. We completed the test for around 1200 residents and results were reported. This weekend, (August 8 and 9) the Queen Elizabeth Hospital provides test services to another 300 residents. Test results are expected to be ready at or before the coming weekend.

Reporter: (about the concern of residents receiving blood tests)

Secretary for Food and Health: I have just talked to the residents who were coming here to have their blood taken and parents of the children concerned. Of course, they are concerned about if their children were affected by lead in drinking water, in particular the development aspect. I have tried to assure them of the blood testing procedures as well as the fact that up to this moment, the testing results only showed mild elevation of blood lead level in a small number of children. The Hospital Authority and the Department of Health will arrange appropriate follow-up treatments for these children.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Sunday, August 9, 2015
Issued at HKT 13:54


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