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FS visits biomedical firm in UK

Financial Secretary Paul Chan yesterday visited a biopharmaceutical company and the Royal College of Art, and attended a lunch hosted by the China-Britain Business Council, as part of his ongoing trip to London.   Mr Chan visited AstraZeneca and met the company’s senior management to learn about its drug research and development activities, as well as its latest expansion plans.   AstraZeneca indicated that following in-depth talks with Hong Kong’s Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises, it plans to develop a research and development centre in Hong Kong and will engage in further discussion with relevant government departments on the matter.   The Financial Secretary then attended a roundtable luncheon held by the China-Britain Business Council, and met representatives of British enterprises that do business, or plan to do business, either in the Mainland or Hong Kong.   Mr Chan later visited the Royal College of Art, which collaborated with the Hong Kong Polytechnic Unive

Melioidosis statutorily notifiable

The Government today published a notice in the Gazette to include melioidosis as a statutorily notifiable infectious disease under Schedule 1 of the Prevention & Control of Disease Ordinance.   As such, medical practitioners are required to notify the Department of Health if they have reason to suspect that a melioidosis case exists, the Government explained.   While person-to-person transmission and animal-to-human transmission are rare, melioidosis bacteria can survive in the local environment, the department’s Centre for Health Protection noted.   Moreover, melioidosis is endemic in Hong Kong, and the presence of the bacteria in the environment may cause potential outbreaks. In regards to this, and the recent increase in the number of cases, especially in Sham Shui Po, the Government proposed to list melioidosis a statutorily notifiable infectious disease to enhance surveillance and prevention.   The move would facilitate early intervention in case of a suspected outbreak in the community, and provide more accurate information about melioidosis’ clinical characteristics and distribution in the city, the department stressed.   The notice will be tabled at the Legislative Council on November 16.
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