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Acting SFH on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and filibuster

Following is the transcript of remarks made by the Acting Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, after attending a public function today (May 18):

Reporter: (On any new government guidelines against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS))

Acting Secretary for Food and Health: We strongly advise travel agencies, which organise tours to the Middle East, to stop organising programmes that would have contacts with camels or programmes that are related to these high risk activities. We strongly advise them not to continue those programmes.

Reporter: (On stepping up measures to prevent against MERS)

Acting Secretary for Food and Health: We are concerned (about the disease). The Centre for Health Protection is working very closely with the World Health Organization (WHO). We have a communication platform so that we can get all the latest news from the WHO. We will look into this matter very seriously.

Reporter: How may the filibuster affect some of the new projects that are coming up?

Acting Secretary for Food and Health: In fact, we have the Queen Mary Hospital redevelopment project that is waiting to be on the agenda item of the (Legislative Council) Public Works Subcommittee. We have been there for three times but we were not able to squeeze into the meeting. We will go again on the coming Wednesday and hopefully, we will be able to discuss this agenda item. If we can't, as there will be a deadline for the tender, we have to re-tender (the project). This will not only affect the timeline of the project, the price of the project may increase as well.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Sunday, May 18, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:34