MTR Corp. has disinfected parts of Hung Hom Station and an intercity train after two passengers, a 48-year-old man and his four-year-old granddaughter, were hospitalized with suspected MERS.
The pair, who are reported to be from Saudi Arabia, traveled from Guangzhou East to Hung Hom on the Z815 Intercity Through Train, according to Apple Daily. Upon arrival at 6:18pm, the pair were found to be showing symptoms of MERS at the Port Health Office, and were taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance.
As the train that the patients took was already on its return journey to Guangzhou, MTR Corp. immediately informed the relevant authorities in mainland China to have the part of the train they occupied cordoned off. The area was later disinfected in accordance with guidelines set by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP).
A spokesperson for the CHP said at around 11pm yesterday that the man and his granddaughter are in stable condition. The CHP advises travelers to the Middle East to avoid going to farms, barns, or markets with camels, and avoid contact with sick people or animals — especially camels, birds, or poultry.
MERS — Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome — is a virus which was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The virus, which causes symptoms such as a fever, coughing, or shortness of breath, has been dubbed the “new SARS”. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 35 percent of reported MERS patients have died. The virus is not spread easily from person to person unless there is close contact.