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Government removes Amber Outbound Travel Alert for Singapore
     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today (November 22) removed the Amber Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) for Singapore.

     A Government spokesman said, "The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement on November 18 which indicated that Zika virus and associated consequences remain a significant enduring public health challenge requiring intense action but no longer represent a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. In parallel with the WHO's statement, the Government has reassessed the situation in Singapore. It was noted that the number of Zika virus infection cases recorded has decreased from a peak of 215 cases per week in late August/early September to four to 12 cases per week in the last two months. It is expected that the situation of Singapore having the number of Zika virus infection cases reduced to zero is unlikely. Based on the latest public health risk assessment, the Government has decided to remove the Amber OTA for Singapore today.

     "Nevertheless, Hong Kong will maintain its Alert Response Level under the Preparedness and Response Plan for Zika virus infection and continue the current prevention and control strategy. People should also remain vigilant against Zika virus infection. The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health again reminds travellers to adopt anti-mosquito measures and practice safer sex. Pregnant women and women planning for pregnancy should not travel to Zika-affected areas. For those who travel, they should take measures to prevent mosquito bites and continue applying insect repellent containing DEET for 21 days after return to Hong Kong. The above measures and recommendations are in line with the WHO's latest recommendations."

     Residents can obtain the latest OTA information on the Security Bureau's OTA webpage: www.sb.gov.hk/eng/ota.

     Residents who need assistance while outside Hong Kong may call the 24-hour hotline of the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the Immigration Department at (852) 1868.

     In addition, Hong Kong residents are encouraged to use the online Registration of Outbound Travel Information service (www.gov.hk/roti) to register their contact details and itinerary when outside Hong Kong. The information provided allows the Immigration Department to disseminate practical information to them through appropriate means, including SMS on mobile phones, on a timely basis when necessary.
Ends/Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:15
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