August 8, 2008

Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong Sign Health, Quarantine Cooperation Accord

Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency)

[Xinhua: "Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong Sign Health, Quarantine Cooperation accord"]

BEIJING, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) - China's quarantine watchdog told Xinhua on Friday it had signed a health and quarantine cooperation arrangement with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government to forge closer ties to better safeguard public health.

The move was targeted at preventing cross-region transmission of infectious diseases and effectively controlling the public health safety at neighbouring ports, said the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).

"Both sides would enhance information exchanges on infectious diseases and cooperation on prevention and control of public health emergencies," according to the agreement between the AQSIQ and the Hong Kong Department of Health.

It also said the two sides should make concerted efforts on the supervision of the health condition of cross-regional flights, vessels, containers and goods.

"Both sides should improve cooperation on health and quarantine technologies, public health risk assessment research, as well as emergency and response mechanisms for infectious diseases," the document said.

Zhi Shuping, AQSIQ deputy chief, said both sides had achieved a string of effective collaborations since 2003 on the prevention and control of the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Originally published by Xinhua news agency, Beijing, in English 1123 8 Aug 08.

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