Angry Doctor

Friday, May 01, 2009

We are still at...

Alert Orange

Hong Kong reports first confirmed case of swine flu

HONG KONG - Hong Kong Friday reported its first confirmed case of swine flu and went on emergency alert, Chief Executive Donald Tsang said.

"We have our first confirmed swine flu case in Hong Kong. He is Mexican," Tsang told reporters.

The Mexican arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday from Mexico via Shanghai, Tsang said.

He was admitted to hospital on Thursday night suffering fever and tested positive on Friday for swine flu. He was in stable condition, Tsang said.

The Metropark Hotel in Wanchai district where he had been staying had been cordoned off, he said.

"I will raise the alert level from serious to emergency," the chief executive said.

Despite putting the city on the highest level of alert, Tsang said all social activities and exhibitions would go ahead as normal and schools would remain open.

"I stress we don't need to panic," he said.

Police wearing face masks cordoned off the Metropark Hotel and a group of blue-gowned and masked health workers was seen entering the hotel in the bustling bar and nightclub district on Hong Kong island.

Hong Kong had already stepped up its protection measures, including the use of temperature screening machines at airports and other entry points.

Authorities have said they would detain anyone showing symptoms of the virus after arriving from an infected area.

Health officials have also advised against all non-essential travel to worst-hit Mexico.

Hong Kong, at the forefront of the SARS epidemic in 2003 and already on alert for bird flu, has announced a series of tough measures to combat any threat from swine flu.

- AFP/ir

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