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Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

HK mandates declaration of monkeypox cases, announces three-tier response plan

HK mandates declaration of monkeypox cases, announces three-tier response plan

Hong Kong on Friday included monkeypox as an infectious disease that must be reported to authorities and announced the three-tier response plan that will be activated when monkeypox emerges or causes an outbreak.

This came as World Health Organization urged governments around the world to be well-prepared, citing confirmed cases of monkeypox reported in some endemic and non-endemic countries.

So far, the city has yet to record any confirmed monkeypox human infection cases.

The response plan adopts a three-tier response level, namely Alert, Serious and Emergency, and will be activated based on risk assessment and disease's health impact on the community.

At the Emergency level, the Department of Health, the Education Bureau and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will assess the need for closure of schools, public places and stopping public gatherings and curtailing nonessential activities and services.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will also prepare for the 24-hour operation of the six crematoria.

“In case monkeypox emerges, or even causes an outbreak in Hong Kong, the response plan will be activated promptly,” the statement read.

The government today published two notices in the gazette to include monkeypox as a scheduled infectious disease under Schedule 1 to Cap 599 Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance, and to list monkeypox as a "specified disease" under Cap 599A Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation.

Both documents will be tabled at the Legislative Council next Wednesday (Jun 15).

The goal is to “enhance Hong Kong's surveillance and response capability on the disease,” according to the government, adding that prompt notification is an important element in the surveillance, prevention and control of the spread of infectious diseases.

“According to the Regulation, medical practitioners are required to notify the Department of Health if they have reason to suspect any case of monkeypox,” the statement read.

Citizens who suffer symptoms of monkeypox, including fever, severe headache, muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, mouth ulcers and rash are urged to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Click here for more information about government's response plan.

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