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Govt not flapping amid new avian virus fears

Inspections of the city’s poultry, parks and bird habitats have been strengthened amid fears over the potentially fatal H7N9 virus that was discovered in the mainland recently, but locally there was nothing to worry about, Ng Peng In, administration committee member of the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM), said on Wednesday. The bureau oversees […]

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:48 am

Inspections of the city’s poultry, parks and bird habitats have been strengthened amid fears over the potentially fatal H7N9 virus that was discovered in the mainland recently, but locally there was nothing to worry about, Ng Peng In, administration committee member of the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM), said on Wednesday.

The bureau oversees the city’s food and animal inspection and control.

Ng made the comment during a press conference at the Sao Domingos Municipal Market Activities Centre about a string of upcoming activities in conjunction with other government bureaus and local associations to promote dengue fever prevention.

Ng said that while the bureau needed to check on what grounds some nearby regions said there was a possibility of an outbreak, he believed that the spread of the new virus might be related to the movement of migratory birds.

Chan Tan Mui, who heads the Health Bureau’s Chronic Diseases Prevention and Health Promotion Unit, added that the Health Bureau would keep a close eye on the situation by beefing up frontline medical staff’s awareness of suspected cases, urging the public to take preventive measures and maintain a healthy immune system which was also a way to ward off the virus.

“As people are concerned about the new bird flu, they shouldn’t neglect the dangers of dengue fever too,” Chan was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying. Chan also said that after the last few days’ rain people needed to remember to clear still water in which mosquitoes breed and lay eggs.

According to Chan, the government logged a total of 22 dengue fever cases last year. So far this year there have been two imported cases of the disease that in rare cases can be fatal.

Government spokesman Alexis Tam Chon Weng said at a separate press conference that the public should not be too concerned about the newly discovered virus since so far no cases of N7N9 have been reported in Guangdong or Macau.

“It won’t be something like [SARS] 10 years ago, so please don’t worry,” Tam said, adding that Macau had the capability to tackle the new virus.(macaunews)

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:48 am

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