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HK announces school suspension to prevent flu spread

All kindergartens, primary schools, child care centers and special schools in Hong Kong will be closed for 14 days starting tomorrow to prevent the local transmission of A/H1N1 influenza, Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang said today.

The decision came after a meeting held by Tsang together with the steering committee on pandemic strategies.

Speaking at a press briefing after the meeting, Tsang said 12 students from St. Paul's Convent School in Causeway Bay were confirmed to have contracted the A/H1N1 virus, which became the first local cluster of cases in the territory. This brings about the decision of class suspension arrangement mentioned above.

The Hospital Authority will open on Saturday eight flu clinics for managing patients with influenza like illness. The authority will expand the number of clinics to 18 if necessary, he said.

Tsang told the community not to panic but urged people to remain alert to combat the disease.

Four people were tested positive for the A/H1N1 influenza virus in Hong Kong yesterday, including the city's first second-generation case, bringing the number of confirmed cases of the disease in Hong Kong to 49, the Center for Health Protection of Hong Kong announced here.

The two new imported cases involved a 21-year-old woman who came from Britain to Hong Kong at flight BA025 on June 7, and a woman who arrived in Hong Kong from the United States on June 9.

Controller of the Center for Health Protection of Hong Kong Thomas Tsang said yesterday that a 55-year-old man who did not have recent overseas travel record was confirmed to have contracted A/H1N1 flu, which was classified as second-generation transmission arising from an overseas imported case.

The man went to a cocktail party in Hong Kong on June 5, which was also attended by a patient who was confirmed earlier to have infected with the new flu. He developed flu symptoms on June 8 and was rushed to the hospital on June 9 for quarantine.

The fourth new confirmed case involved a 16-year-old student of St. Paul's Convent School in Causeway Bay. She and eight classmates have developed flu and stayed at home since June 7.


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