Tung Chee Hwa, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), emphasized Tuesday that it has been the government's top priority to tackle the atypical pneumonia since its outbreak.
In a meeting with principal officials Tuesday evening, Tung repeated the pledge to deploy all necessary resources to prevent and treat the disease.
He decided to seek the approval of the Legislative Council's Finance Committee for an initial sum of 200 million HK dollars (US$25. 6 million) to strengthen infection control and treatment as well as public health education.
In view of the increase in the number of atypical pneumonia cases to nearly 300, Tung convened the meeting to enhance coordination among government departments and medical authorities with a view to containing the spread of the virus effectively and allaying the worry of residents.
Those who attended the meeting included Chief Secretary for Administration Donald Tsang and Financial Secretary Antony Leung.
They thoroughly reviewed and assessed the spread of atypical pneumonia. They also looked at the progress of treatment of patients and measures to deal with the disease during the two-hour meeting.
(Xinhua News Agency March 26, 2003)