PUBLIC HEALTH
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Mers virus

Traveller in Hong Kong on train from Guangzhou sent to hospital after showing Mers symptoms tests negative

Man under isolation later found not to have coronavirus as seats and public areas in coach concerned cleaned and disinfected

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 May, 2016, 9:58am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 May, 2016, 1:34pm

A foreign visitor who came to Hong Kong from Guangzhou by train on Monday and was suspected to have contracted Middle East respiratory syndrome tested negative on Tuesday.

MTR Corporation said the visitor and an accompanying friend had been sent to hospital for check-ups after health inspectors at Hung Hom station found that one of them showed symptoms for Mers.

At noon Tuesday, the Centre for Health Protection confirmed the suspected case tested negative for the Mers coronavirus.

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The two were on board through train Z823 from Guangzhou East station and arrived at Hung Hom at around 12.30pm Monday.

Secretary for Food and Health Dr Ko Wing-man said the man had been placed under isolation and that he had exhibited Mers symptoms and had travelled to Middle Eastern countries.

Health officials obtained information on his close contacts in case he was confirmed to have Mers.

“In response to the incident, Hung Hom station immediately arranged for the cleaning and disinfection of public areas of the station with a 1-99 bleach and water solution according to established procedures,” MTR Corp said.

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“As the through train concerned departed Hung Hom station as scheduled with boarded passengers before the Port Health Office notified MTR of the incident, the corporation has immediately asked staff on board the through train to clean and disinfect seat Nos 102 and 103 in Coach No 3 of the train, which were occupied by the two passengers mentioned above, with a 1-49 bleach and water solution.”

The public toilet and public area of the coach were also cleaned.

The two staff members who came into contact with the two passengers were told not to report to work. They were also told to see a doctor immediately if they felt unwell.

MTR Corp urged any passengers on board the train to see a doctor if they felt unwell.

Mers, a coronavirus which was discovered in 2012, is considered a “close relative” of Sars.

Last month, four suspected Mers cases were reported to the Centre for Health Protection. All of them tested negative.