In recent months, cases of measles have shot up in the city, which raised concern among authorities and other relevant agencies, prompting the government to offer health screening services among domestic workers in particular. And because of the risk this infection poses to residents, especially children and mothers, the issue to make health screening mandatory among residents, including foreign workers in the country, has been raised once more.
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Through these efforts, the government was able to contain the spread of the infection, which could easily affect the residents in one of the world’s most dense and highly compact cities.
Measles Outbreak in HK Airports Controlled
And through its series of countermeasures, the Centre for Health Protection announced that the measles outbreak at Hong Kong International Airport has concluded, as shared in a report by news.gov.hk.
According to the report, a total of 73 measles cases were recorded so far this year, with 29 associated with the outbreak among airport workers.
The incubation period of measles can last up to 21 days. The centre explained that among the airport-associated cases, the date the patients last visited the airport during the communicable period was April 5.
Since then, no new associated cases have been reported in two incubation periods, which ended today. Because of this, the centre has declared that the measles outbreak at the airport has officially ended.
With this, the airport vaccination centre will officially cease operation. Over 8,500 people have received measles vaccination at the airport since March 22.
In relation to this, the Department of Health had earlier provided the measles serology test service to airport staff, with 777 blood samples collected.
Meanwhile, the pilot service to offer measles serology testing for Filipino foreign domestic helpers working in Hong Kong has gathered a total of 146 blood samples. Participants have already been notified of the serology results.
International travel standards require travelers to obtain medical certification, which includes a review of history of vaccinations, as well as exposure to certain kinds of communicable illnesses and travel history, among others.
These standards are observed by all progressive countries in the world. However, in a country like Hong Kong where there are third-party agencies involved in the entry of foreign nationals such as for work among others, these standards may not have been strictly followed to the dot.
At this point, there is a need for relevant offices such as Hong Kong’s Department of Health as well as embassies involved in the movement of residents in the city to coordinate and impose measures that apply to all for the benefit of all.