PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 March, 2008, 12:00am

Is closing schools the right move amid the flu outbreak?

I think it was correct for the government to close schools because of the flu outbreak.

Officials had to act swiftly because any delay in shutting schools could have led to a further loss of life.

I know many parents were concerned that the sudden closures would disrupt the studies of their children.

However, the government's priority had to be the welfare of the students. In fact, the government should extend flu-prevention measures to other parts of Hong Kong and to locations where people might be at risk, such as shopping malls, offices, housing estates and on public transport. It should ensure hygiene standards are high, with a regular cleaning rota.

This, of course, would involve a large-scale and regular cleaning programme, and the government should establish the necessary mechanism so that firms and other organisations (such as property-management companies) and community associations can get involved.

The government should issue instructions for the cleaning programme and ensure people stick to it.

Just shutting down schools is not enough. There must be, as I said, a territory-wide cleaning programme, because young people can still get infected at other locations, even if the schools are closed.

Henry Hui, Ma On Shan

How can sex workers be better protected?

The killing of four prostitutes has highlighted the need for them to protect themselves.

They must remain alert and come up with a system where they can get in touch with each other if they feel threatened. If there is an occasion when they do feel at risk, they must try to be calm, and phone the police as soon as possible.

The women may be vulnerable if it is known they are keeping money in their brothel, so they must deposit their earnings in a bank.

Many prostitutes working alone are victims of robbery or other forms of mistreatment. They need to share their experiences and try to come up with solutions so they can deal effectively with the problems they face.

Concern groups exist that can offer support and advice to prostitutes. Sex workers who operate alone should get in touch with these groups, which will make them part of a network and thus help ensure their safety.

Ng Chun-fai, Mong Kok

On other matters ...

I would like to clarify any misunderstanding that may arise from the report '3 more drivers follow tycoon in challenging accuracy of laser gun' (March 8).

The report mentions that Peter Lam Kin-ngok successfully challenged a speeding ticket in court, arguing that the results shown on the laser gun were flawed because police were not properly trained in using the device.

It must be emphasised that a police officer must be trained to use a laser gun before he can conduct a speed-check operation on the roads in Hong Kong. Police officers are properly trained in accordance with the manufacturer's manual. At no time during the recent trial was the accuracy or reliability of the laser gun challenged. The police officer who operated the laser gun produced a sketch indicating the location of the laser gun and the location where the defendant was detected speeding.

However, during cross-examination the defence could show that the location where the police officer alleged the defendant's car was detected speeding, that is, the location as stated in the summons, was incorrect. Because of this the prosecution had difficulty proving the defendant's car was speeding at the location alleged in the summons. This is the main reason the prosecution believed there was less than a reasonable chance to secure a conviction.

David Ng Ka-sing, chief superintendent, police public relations branch

The sympathies of Tsim Sha Tsui residents go to those of Taikoo Shing who are affected by the Fortis neon sign

(K. Mane, Talkback, March 18). Our homes are also bathed in lurid neon every night from the AXA signs on top of the Miramar Tower. As a concession to residents' complaints, this is now turned off at five minutes to midnight.

The government's advice to open our windows for a green Hong Kong is a joke. From 7am to 7pm we are bombarded with construction noise and dust from the Chinese Estates Holdings' Tung Ying site, and every evening we have to keep the curtains drawn to block out the AXA neon. When are residents going to be allowed to relax in their own homes?

I would like to know from the Buildings Department if these two particular signs are authorised. The department lacks the manpower to pursue inquiries about these signs and the billboard companies are aware of this. Why then is the government, with its current surplus, not outsourcing enforcement of the existing regulations?

Mary Melville, Tsim Sha Tsui