HK launches 1st drill on response to possible bird flu pandemic
2005-11-08 02:05:27 

Nurses take part in a drill on the outbreak of bird flu inside an isolated room at a hospital in Hong Kong, November 8, 2005.(Reuters)

HONG KONG, Nov. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- Hong Kong Hospital Authority launched on Tuesday its first ever drill on the special administrative region's preparedness for a possible avian influenza pandemic.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang and Secretary for Health,Welfare and Food York Chow inspected the drill.

Over 70 medical staffs at United Christian Hospital and Tuen Mun Hospital participated in the drill code-named "Exercise Flamingo."

The scenario of the drill was that two patients who contracted with avian influenza were sent to the two hospitals and the red alarm light were turned on in the two hospitals for starting the treatment with special procedures.

The drill was aimed at testing the response of the public hospitals' disease control and the procedures for the treatment ofthe patients.

Raymond Yung Wai-hung, director of the drill and consultant in-charge of Infectious Disease Control Training Center of the Hospital Authority, said the drill was launched to see if the communications between the Hospital Authority and seven hospitals within its network operate well and the internal operation of the hospitals go on smoothly in case an avian influenza pandemic happens in Hong Kong.

After seeing the Hospital Authority's drill at Tuen Mun Hospital, Chief Executive Donald Tsang said "I think the experience is excellent. I think the drills must continue to polish the protocol, to ensure the communication between various operation units are totally in order and smooth, and all the protective measures that we have prepared are properly utilized."

He said Hong Kong has made enormous headway since the outbreak of SARS, not just in terms of resource acquisition, deployment of resources, communication between various units, and even the equipment and facilities within the hospitals have all been improved.

Tsang said, however, Hong Kong should continue to learn from others' experience and continue to do exercises at hospital level.

According to Yung, the Hospital Authority will launch another drill on Nov. 24 for testing Hong Kong's capacity in tracing the source of avian influenza patients.

To prevent the spread of the virus, the Hospital Authority specially introduced two sets of software for tracing the wards where the patients have lived and medical staffs who offered treatment.

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