Go TO Content

Apr 29, 2003, No. 003

  • Date:2003-04-29

Press Release of the Offshore Control Division of the Executive Yuan's SARS Epidemic Disaster Response Committee

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) declared that all 33 travelers from Hong Kong who had arrived in Taiwan on a package tour organized by Hong Kong's Yung An Travel Agency were scheduled to leave Taiwan around 9:00 p.m. (actually leave at 11:15 p.m.)tonight on DragonAir exclusive flight KA8481 to Hong Kong. They would be accompanied by two medical staff from Hong Kong. In accordance with WHO regulations, Taiwan authorities conveyed the suspected SARS-infected girl child named Hu to CKS International Airport in Taoyuan by taking special quarantine measures.

Among the tourists who arrived in Taiwan on April 23 on a package tour organized by Hong Kong's Yung An Travel Agency there was one girl child named Hu. She developed a fever and other flu symptoms on April 27 and was consequently admitted to National Taiwan University Hospital for medical treatment. In view of the fact that the aforementioned tour group was from Hong Kong, and that the girl child showed symptoms indicating a possible infection with the SARS virus, the hospital decided by reason of safety to report the suspected case to the Department of Health's (DOH) Center for Disease Control. As an additional measure, the DOH gave order that the other members of the tour group were to be quarantined in their hotel for further observation.

Immediately after learning on April 27 that the girl child named Hu, one member of a tour group from Hong Kong, was a suspected SARS case, the MAC asked for confirmation from the DOH Center for Disease Control. Since then, the MAC maintained contact with the relevant health authorities for constant updates on the girl child's health condition. Via its Hong Kong Affairs Bureau, the MAC also relayed the relevant message to the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). On April 29, the Hong Kong government informed the MAC Hong Kong Affairs Bureau of its plans to arrange an exclusive aircraft to take back the members of the tour group to Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government further announced it would quarantine, examine and cure the members of the tour group in accordance with the relevant measures announced by the WHO. After receiving this information, the MAC immediately communicated with the other relevant authorities to launch a coordinated effort that made possible the speedy return to Hong Kong of all tour group members on the night of April 29 on DragonAir flight KA8481, arranged by the HKSAR administration. The HKSAR administration expressed its gratitude for the arrangements made by the Taiwan government. The members of the tour group also thanked the MAC for its concern and assistance.