Inter-departmental meeting discusses anti-mosquito measures (with photos)
The meeting also discussed anti-mosquito strategies for the coming year, with a view to addressing the threat posed by mosquito-borne diseases in a timely manner.
The Steering Committee is chaired by the Under Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Chui Tak-yi. Members include a number of policy bureaux and departments.
Dr Chui said, “To enhance inter-departmental communication and cooperation for more effective implementation of respective mosquito control measures, the Inter-departmental Coordination Committee on Mosquito-Borne Diseases chaired by the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health (DH) has been subsumed under the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee also provides a more efficient platform for respective departments to grasp the latest development of mosquito-borne diseases and commence their work more swiftly.
“Although winter has set in and the activity level of mosquitos is generally low, it does not mean that the threat posed by mosquito-borne diseases has been eliminated. Therefore, government departments have not relaxed and continue to carry out anti-mosquito work. We should understand that, nonetheless, to effectively eliminate mosquito breeding problems, the society, including building management companies, construction sites contractors and members of the public, must do their best to implement anti-mosquito measures in public and household areas. Efforts will be of waste otherwise,” he said.
A total of five local Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases were recorded in Hong Kong this year, a record higher than the previous five years. As at November 9, 95 confirmed cases of dengue fever were recorded, including one local case. Separately, there is one imported case of Zika virus infection this year.
At the meeting today, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) briefed the attendees about the mosquito breeding situation in Hong Kong. They noted that the monthly ovitrap indices recorded this year are generally lower than previous years.
In monitoring the dengue vector, the FEHD will further enhance the dengue vector surveillance programme by increasing the number of survey areas from 52 to 57 in 2018, in response to the local dengue fever cases reported in 2016 and 2017 as well as urban development and requests from the public. Besides, the frequency of survey will also be increased from one week per month to two weeks per month. For land and sea ports, the frequency of dengue vector surveillance will also be increased to a weekly basis which is in line with that conducted in the Airport. Furthermore, the FEHD will continue to carry out virus tests against both dengue virus and Zika virus for mosquito samples collected from the dengue vector surveillance programme to minimise the risk of mosquito-borne diseases transmission.
Besides, the FEHD will continue the surveillance programme on JE vector mosquitoes. The programme has been enhanced since October 2015 to cover seven strategic areas, namely Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, North District, Sai Kung, Kwai Tsing, Sham Shui Po and Southern District. Vector mosquitoes will be collected monthly for virus test against JE virus.
Also, the FEHD has used the Geospatial Information Hub to upload data about the location and amount of Aedes albopictus. With access to digital maps showing the distribution and number of these mosquitoes in each region, relevant departments can monitor the hygienic conditions throughout Hong Kong and effectively assess and monitor the level of public health risk around specific locations, and take follow-up measures.
The effectiveness of various anti-mosquito work and the work plan for the coming year were also reviewed at the meeting. Bureaux/departments continue to intensify the anti-mosquito work at areas under their management. Major measures include:
In respect of anti-mosquito measures in construction sites, in 2017 (up to November 10), the FEHD instigated 271 prosecutions against mosquito breeding in premises according to the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132), among which 257 involved construction sites. The FEHD will continue to deploy dedicated teams in 2018 to enhance inspection of construction sites and enforcement against mosquito breeding.
On the other hand, respective departments will continue to monitor the performances of their contractors or management companies of their properties in carrying out anti-mosquito work. If the work is considered not satisfactory, the relevant departments may reflect so in the performance assessment reports of the contractors or management companies. Such assessment results may affect the qualification of those contractors or management companies in joining future tender exercises.
In addition, the attendees discussed the recent outbreak of plague cases in Madagascar. The DH will continue disease surveillance and public education on plague. The FEHD will conduct surveillance and control work for both rodent and rat-fleas, so as to promote environmental hygiene.
Government bureaux, departments and organisation that attended the meeting today include the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department; the Architectural Services Department; the Civil Engineering and Development Department; the DH; the Development Bureau; the Drainage Services Department; the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department; the Environmental Protection Department; the Education Bureau; the FEHD; the Government Property Agency; the Home Affairs Department; the Hospital Authority; the Housing Department; the Information Services Department; the Lands Department; the Leisure and Cultural Services Department; the Social Welfare Department; the Highways Department and the Water Supplies Department.
Ends/Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Issued at HKT 20:55
Issued at HKT 20:55