June 2003 Issue No. 8
  Lead Story  


EMSTF Takes Part in Combating SARS   

Threatened by the spread of SARS, Hong Kong people united themselves to fight the once-a-century epidemic virus. For the sake of our society, local medical professionals showed their highest level of humanitarianism in the 24-hour treatment of critical patients. Staff of EMSD's different divisions made their contribution through providing supportive services to the stressed medical system. They also went to the battle front to help contain the spread of the deadly virus.

In the combat against SARS, staff members from various divisions have done their best. In particular, the staff of the Health Sector Division are the earliest ones who have gone to the battle front to provide all necessary E&M services for the hospitals. The following are examples of their contributions: 

Modifying the HVAC systems in hospitals to maintain negative pressure and optimise fresh air intake in SARS wards and selected operating theatres;
Acquiring air purifiers with HEPA filters and UV lights for various hospitals;
Providing loaner unit of infusion pump, physiologic monitor, pulse oximeter etc for urgent use by hospitals;
Providing technical advice on the fitting of scavenging system for ventilators connected to SARS patients;
Implementing spot exhaust systems for SARS patients; and
Expediting acceptance testing or wellness check on new or transferred life-supporting equipment.
A passenger's  forehead temperature is scanned at the international airport.
Other divisions also provide responsive services for departments which require additional engineering work to minimise the spread of virus. For example, we carry out thorough inspections and cleansing of HVAC systems in client venues. We also provide replacement / cleaning services for the air-conditioner pipes of the vehicles used by various departments. Our staff even went to Block E of Amoy Gardens  to collect air samples for investigation. Moreover, our Municipal Sector Division provided E&M services for modification works on four Holiday Camps prepared for housing Amoy Gardens residents under quarantine.

At very short notice, our Project Division completed the arrangement for delivery and installation of over 300 Infrared Fever Detection units at various Border Control Points. Meanwhile, our Airport Sector’s staff played an unnoticed part in the quarantine at the international airport. DH has made on-loan arrangement of two Infrared Fever Screening System (IFSS) and commenced fever screening on arriving air passengers since 1 May 2003, with the help of EMSTF giving technical support to ensure successful launching of the IFSS.

Optimising fresh air intake in SARS wards is such a delicate and highly important task that we put effort to modify the HVAC systems. 

Though facing numerous constraints, hectic schedules and immense working pressure, our staff can still carry out the tasks, leading to high morale in combating SARS. Everyone in EMSTF is unshaken in shouldering responsibilities and always stands on guard in the face of the crisis.

  We would like to express wholeheartedly our gratitude towards clients’ cooperation and to those colleagues who have actively participated in containing the spread of the virus. Also we encourage our clients and community members to keep a close link with us and join hand to hand, heart to heart in fighting against SARS.
EMSTF staff explains to HA
counterparts the modification
on the ventilation system in
operating theatres.

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