Three health officials attend two-day Wuhan briefing

The local government has dispatched a team of three officials to Wuhan, Hubei Province, in order for them to learn more about the latest developments regarding a pneumonia outbreak in the mainland city. They are expected to end their two-day trip today.
The team will consist of Lam Chong, director of the Disease Control Center of the Health Bureau (SSM), and two officials from the public hospital, the government reported on Sunday.
According to a statement issued yesterday by the Government Information Bureau, the team will be informed by national health officials about the appropriate treatment for infected patients, as well as measures to prevent or if necessary control the spread of the identified coronavirus.
The SSM’s Public Health Laboratory already has diagnostic tests that can detect if a patient has been infected with the pathogen identified in the Wuhan outbreak.
As of Sunday, all patients suspected of having symptoms of pneumonia – and whose preliminary test results exclude the possibility of regular influenza – were subjected to these diagnostic tests.
The government additionally received on Sunday a notice from the mainland’s National Health Commission stating that the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus associated with the viral pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, had been released through the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data.
Since 1 January, local medical institutions have informed the health authority and other relevant government departments about a total of 10 cases, each involving a patient with fever and respiratory problems, and that had been in Wuhan in the previous 14 days. Tests have ruled out the possibility of the Wuhan coronavirus in eight of the patients, while two remain in isolation for further testing.
The government is paying close attention to the latest developments regarding the viral pneumonia cases that have occurred in Wuhan and has taken several measures to minimize the risk of such cases having any impact on Macau.
The city continues to advance local preparedness regarding response to a potential viral outbreak, including a uniform level of training in relation to the control of infectious disease and procedures of handling suspicious cases for medical professionals. The SSM has also worked to ensure that there is sufficient reserve supply of medication, medical consumables and other equipment.
The government stressed again yesterday that there is no cause for alarm regarding the outbreak in Wuhan. Nonetheless, a heightened level of awareness should be displayed by members of the public and greater attention given to the maintenance of personal and environmental hygiene.
Macau residents either working, studying or living in Wuhan should remain additionally vigilant, it said. DB

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