Government gazettes inclusion of monkeypox as statutorily notifiable infectious disease under Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance and launches Preparedness and Response Plan for Monkeypox

     The Government today (June 10) published the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 1) Notice 2022 and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 2022 in the Gazette to include monkeypox as a scheduled infectious disease under Schedule 1 to the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599) and to specify monkeypox as a "specified disease" under the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation (Cap. 599A) (the Regulation). The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) also launched the Preparedness and Response Plan for Monkeypox (the Plan), which sets out the relevant plan and actions when monkeypox may have a significant public health impact on Hong Kong.
     Hong Kong has not recorded any confirmed monkeypox human infection cases so far. However, recently confirmed human cases of monkeypox have been reported in some endemic and non-endemic countries, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged governments around the world to be well-prepared. In order to address the potential risk posed by monkeypox to Hong Kong, the Government has published a Notice in the Gazette to include monkeypox as a statutorily notifiable infectious disease to enhance Hong Kong's surveillance and response capability on the disease. According to the Regulation, medical practitioners are required to notify the DH if they have reason to suspect any case of monkeypox. Prompt notification is an important element in the surveillance, prevention and control of the spread of infectious diseases.
     "The Plan defines the response levels and the corresponding command structures to be set up at each response level. It provides the framework of a response system for agreed and co-ordinated efforts amongst different government departments and organisations, with an aim to reduce the morbidity and mortality of the Hong Kong population due to monkeypox," a spokesman for the CHP said.
     The Plan adopts a three-tier response level (namely Alert, Serious and Emergency) which will be activated based on risk assessment and the disease's health impact on the community. In case monkeypox emerges, or even causes an outbreak in Hong Kong, the response plan will be activated promptly.
     "The Government will continue to maintain close contact with the WHO and carefully monitor monkeypox infection cases recorded overseas, as well as the latest recommendations of the WHO. We also urge the public to seek medical attention as soon as possible if they experience symptoms of monkeypox, including fever, severe headache, muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, mouth ulcers and rash," the spokesman added.

     The Government will assess the risk from time to time in view of the latest scientific evidence and situation, activate or deactivate the response level and implement corresponding measures. Relevant agencies and organisations should take note of this Plan in devising their own contingency plans and response measures.
     The Plan is available on the CHP's website ( The Amendment Regulation and the Notice will be tabled at the Legislative Council on June 15.

Ends/Friday, June 10, 2022
Issued at HKT 17:30