Acting health secretary Chui Tak-yi (centre) visited a school in Wong Tai Sin as a part of the campaign against dengue outbreak. Photo: RTHK
The acting Secretary for Food and Health, Chui Tak-yi, said government officials will check on schools near where dengue fever patients live, to see if they have implemented mosquito control measures properly before the new school year starts.
He said any schools that are within 500 metres of any patients’ home will be covered. The new school year starts in a weeks' time.
Chui made the comment after inspecting Pentecostal Holiness Church Wing Kwong College in Wong Tai Sin and gave a demonstration to staff members on how to carry out anti-mosquito measures.
He also urged schools to appoint a designated supervisor to oversee mosquito control works.
So far, 23 local cases have been confirmed and 17 of them have been to Lion Rock Park and six are believed to have been infected in Cheung Chau.
Chui said he expect to see more new cases from Cheung Chau. When asked if the government will advise people not to visit the outlying island, Chui said the top priority for the government is to step up mosquito control in the area, and urged residents and visitors to make sure they have sufficient protection.
Meanwhile, Wong Tai Sin district councillors have criticised the government for what they say is a sluggish response to the outbreak.
At a special council meeting held on Friday over the issue, members said they've been having a hard time trying to get officials to help carry out mosquito control measures at private estates.
One of them, Roy Ting, also said the government's using outdated methods.
"I think it'd quite bureaucratic in terms of all the progress they've been through. And, the method they were using... according to [the World Health Organisation], there are a few new measurements which can be used to prevent or to control the spread of the dengue fever.. which I believe we are not using now. We are still using the traditional spraying methods," he said.
WHO has been encouraging countries to control the mosquito population through innovative and biological methods on experimental basis. It has been considering the use of genetically modified mosquitoes to eradicate dengue-spreading ones.