Title: #HK, #Exercise "#Beryl" tests #government #response to #MERS.
Subject: MERS, epidemic preparedness and response exercise in Hong Kong.
Source: Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong PRC SAR, full page: (LINK).
Code: [ ]
Exercise "Beryl" tests government response to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
The Government tested its preparedness for a possible detection of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) today (November 16) during an exercise code-named "Beryl", organised by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) in collaboration with other government departments and organisations at the Ho Tung Lau Depot of the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL).
About 100 participants from relevant government departments and organisations took part in the exercise, including more than 20 experts from the Mainland and Macau who participated as observers.
The exercise was aimed at assessing the effectiveness of the Government's plans and procedures and the interoperability of government departments and agencies in response to the detection of a communicable disease on board an MTR Intercity Through Train, as well as heightening the overall awareness and readiness of relevant stakeholders in preventing the spread of communicable disease.
The exercise consisted of two parts. The first part was a table-top exercise conducted on November 9, in which relevant departments and organisations discussed and supervised the response required in the simulated scenario of a MERS patient travelling from the Mainland to Hong Kong via train.
The second part, conducted today, was a ground movement exercise. Under the exercise simulation, a passenger was found sick on an MTR Intercity Through Train heading to Hung Hom Station. He presented with shortness of breath, fever and vomiting. Meanwhile, the DH was notified by its Mainland counterpart that a confirmed MERS patient was taking an MTR Intercity Through Train to Hong Kong. Subsequently, it was confirmed that the case subject was the sick passenger.
The DH activated the emergency response mechanism immediately and co-ordinated with relevant departments and agencies, disciplinary services and the MTRCL to formulate and implement response measures before the train's arrival.
Upon the train's arrival, the DH arranged for a Public Health Team to conduct an on-board assessment and epidemiological investigation; arrange for the FSD to transfer the MERS patient to hospital; identify collaterals and potential contacts; and instruct the MTRCL to disinfect the affected areas.
"The exercise provided a valuable opportunity for relevant government departments and organisations to strengthen their preparedness and identify areas for improvement. It also helped enhance the preparedness of relevant stakeholders in response to inbound travellers with a communicable disease," a DH spokesman said.
"We will continue to conduct interdepartmental exercises with government bureaux/departments, organisations and stakeholders concerned in close partnership, with a view to enhancing Hong Kong’s overall awareness and readiness in the control and prevention of communicable diseases," the spokesman added.
Ends/Wednesday, November 16, 2016 / Issued at HKT 21:35
Keywords: HK PRC SAR; Updates; MERS-CoV.