Since the case emerged in Taiwan this week, public health laboratories in Hong Kong have been reviewing their procedures for preventing mishaps like the one which caused the new infection. 'We wanted to know immediately what went wrong in Taiwan ... and review our procedures,' said Wilina Lim Wei-ling, a pathology service consultant for the Department of Health who oversees all the department's laboratories. The mishandling of waste was the cause of the infection in Taiwan, she said. After reviewing the procedures for handling waste at the Public Health Laboratory Centre in Shek Kip Mei, Dr Lim said they were satisfactory. She said that, while there was no guarantee such an accident would not happen in Hong Kong, safety was most likely to be achieved by laboratory technicians following proper procedures. 'The most important thing is still personnel training,' she said. 'If you have a person who does not follow procedures, things can happen.' The Public Health Laboratory Centre has conducted more than 30,000 Sars-related tests since the outbreak in April. Its staff have to follow stringent procedures when handling test samples, and must discard or disinfect materials used in the lab. The part of the laboratory which cultures Sars coronavirus for research has its own ventilation system so that no air escapes from the facility. Aside from the Public Health Laboratory, the University of Hong Kong is the only other institution which has the facilities for culturing the Sars virus, Dr Lim said.