The Hong Kong International Airport ( HKIA), together with related government departments and other business partners, conducted a drill to examine its preparedness on managing infectious diseases on March 17. As part of HKIA’s stepped-up measures to prevent and be prepared for the potential outbreak of an avian flu, a large-scale exercise simulating an arriving flight carrying a sick passenger with avian flu symptoms was conducted.
More than 300 volunteers and staff from the airport community participated in the drill.
Local and international aviation industry, as well as World Health Organization (WHO) and International Civil Aviation Organization ( ICAO) also sent around 100 observers to the exercise.
Codenamed “Laurentian Spring,” the exercise was tailored to enable the responding parties to familiarize with the agreed processes and procedures on managing contagious diseases like avian influenza on board an arriving flight.
The exercise also drilled participating parties on their acquaintance with the precautionary measures required by the Department of Health for handling passengers, aircrew and aircraftin response to infectious diseases.
“It is our top priority to maintain HKIA a healthy and safe place for all passengers, airport staff and the community at large.We must remain vigilant and be prepared for a potential outbreak of avian flu, ” said David J. Pang, CEO of the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA).
He added that “today’s exercise allows us to strengthen our readiness in managing an infectious disease like avian influenza.”
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government departments including Department of Health and Port Health Office, Civil Aviation Department, Customs and Excise, Fire Services Department and Hong Kong Police participated in the exercise. Cathay Pacific provided an airplane and the crew for the exercise.
(c) 2006 Xinhua News Agency