DH strengthens port health measures on inbound travellers from Korea

     Following the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s announcement yesterday (February 24) on the Red Outbound Travel Alert issued on Korea and restriction imposed on non-Hong Kong residents arriving from Korea from entering Hong Kong with effect from 6am today (February 25), the Department of Health (DH) has immediately strengthened port health and quarantine measures on inbound travellers arriving from Korea. The measures are implemented in response to the latest situation of COVID-19 in Korea. 

     Starting from 6am today, the DH’s Port Health Division will issue quarantine orders under the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation (Cap. 599A) to Hong Kong residents returning to Hong Kong who have been to Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do in Korea in the past 14 days and arrange them to stay in quarantine centre for quarantine. Hong Kong residents returning from other cities and provinces of Korea will be required to undergo medical surveillance for 14 days. 

     Regardless of whether they are Hong Kong residents, people arriving Hong Kong from Korea last night and until 6am today are required to undergo medical surveillance for 14 days. A notification of medical surveillance will be issued to those who have been to Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do in Korea in the past 14 days and are required to comply with the conditions specified in the notification. 

     The Port Health Division has also deployed extra manpower to conduct additional temperature screening for travellers arriving from Korea at the Hong Kong International Airport by using handheld infrared thermometers. Travellers arriving from Korea who are found to have fever or upper respiratory infection symptoms upon arrival will be sent to the hospital for isolation and treatment.

     In view of the latest situation of COVID-19 in Korea, the DH’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) has further revised relevant reporting criteria to enhance surveillance of suspected cases. Medical practitioners are requested to report to the CHP any individual fulfilling the following for further investigation:
- Presented with fever or acute respiratory illness or pneumonia; and
- Either one of the following conditions within 14 days before onset of symptom:
1. With travel history to Mainland China or Korea; or
2. Had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

     The CHP has issued letters to doctors and private hospitals to inform them of the revised reporting criteria.

Ends/Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Issued at HKT 0:28