Posted : Mon, 25 May 2009 03:59:40 GMT
Author : DPA
Category : Health

Hong Kong – Government lawyers in Hong Kong were studying Monday whether passengers who lie on health declaration forms when they arrive in the city can be prosecuted. Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection has asked for the guidance after the latest of seven imported cases of the new strain of the H1N1 influenza virus was found to have failed to declare flu symptoms on arrival.

The 21-year-old female student was suffering from a sore throat when she arrived in Hong Kong from New York but did not report it on the mandatory forms all arriving passengers must now fill in.

Thomas Tsang, director of the Centre for Health Protection, said at a briefing Sunday that guidance would be sought from the Department of Justice over the case.

Lawyers would check if there was evidence of intentional deception, Tsang said, adding: “It is possible that the symptoms were not obvious and the patient did not realise she was sick.”

The legal move is the latest evidence of a tough line being taken by Hong Kong to prevent a community outbreak of swine flu. All seven cases in the city so far have been imported from overseas.