The Association of Hong Kong Professionals Proposes Innovative Measures to Curb Pandemic

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Smart Vent Protector + Long-term Wastewater Monitoring System to Block Community Infections at Source & Eliminate COVID-19 Local Outbreaks

 

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 4 January 2021 – The Association of Hong Kong
Professionals
(“AHKP”) today put forward two recommendations on how the HKSAR government
should introduce innovative measures to effectively handle current virus outbreak,
so that Hong Kong can reach a target of zero community infection numbers as
soon as possible:

 

Recommendation 1: Smart Vent Protector

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There
are many high-rise buildings in Hong Kong. Since SARS was discovered in 2003,
in order to ensure that pipes do not harbour and spread viruses, the safety and
design of water traps and exhaust pipes have been a primary consideration of industry
experts. Although many buildings have adopted improved “double-U” water trap
designs, with the outbreak of the new virus, vent pipes
have become the means of spreading the virus between different flats in the
same building, thereby increasing risks for residents.

The Association of Hong Kong Professionals Proposes Innovative Measures to Curb Pandemic

The Association of Hong Kong Professionals proposes innovative measures to curb pandemic﹕(from left) Ir Fredrick Keung (Vice Chairman)、Sr Edgar Li (Vice Chairman)、Sr Samsong Wong(Chairman)、Dr Jeffery Pong (General Vice Chairman)、Ir Allen Law (Vice Chairman)

 

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Chairman
of AHKP and Building Surveyor, Mr Samson Wong San, and his SWA professional
team, started developing the Smart Vent Protector (“SVP”) six months ago. Their
aims were to make improvements in current ventilating pipe systems to
achieve sustainable public health safety and
greatly reduce concerns of the public and within the industry about the
possibility of such vent pipes spreading viruses.

After
several months of research and improvements, development of the SVP has made
great progress and has now received full support of the Construction Industry
Council (CIC). It is planned for the SVP to be officially launched onto the
market in 2021 to help Hong Kong citizens fighting
against the pandemic.

 

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Mr
Samson Wong said: “In order to improve the air quality of exhaust pipes, the
Smart Vent Protector incorporates advanced technologies for sterilisation and
deodorisation. It only needs to be installed on the top of existing exhaust
pipes on the roof of the building to effectively disinfect foul air
from the pipes, so that the risks of spreading viruses and bacteria can be
reduced. SVP can also help greatly reduce the public and the industry’s worries
about exhaust pipes, and set new standards for building safety. It is a milestone
in the architectural,
construction, engineering and surveying
industry.”

 

Recommendation 2: Establish a long-term wastewater monitoring system to detect community infection at source and effectively curb COVID-19 local outbreak

 

AHKP
believes that in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus in buildings and
communities in Hong Kong, it is necessary to stop it at the source. Establishing
a long-term wastewater monitoring system to detect any new coronavirus in housing estates,
nursing homes, hotels and similar buildings in Hong Kong can further prevent any
spread. With reference to research reports by teams from different countries in
recent months, it is apparent that wastewater
monitoring in communities is an effective tool for identifying transmission
routes. Some cities have already set up dashboards to display the concentration
of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.

 

The
recommendations of AHKP include the use of the test results and scientific
analysis of the virus in wastewater
to assess infection trends in specific communities. This will help improving existing clinical and laboratory monitoring data,
and concentrate resources for more effective usage; buildings and communities
can also carry out better environmental management.

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Furthermore, AHKP
recommends that government introduce policies that support, organise and train
professionals in various related industries, including registered laboratories
with qualifications to collect environmental samples of any coronavirus,
property management officers, building services engineers, and building
surveyors, etc., to assist in taking samples in a standardised manner from underground drain pipes and
manholes related to a building’s underground drainage system. The samples collected
then can be sent to a registered laboratory for analysis. By doing so, the Centre for Health Protection can
immediately receive the relevant reports for systematic assessment and justify their decision for a regional
compulsory testing plan with other pandemic prevention measures. This can be one of the effective monitoring
measures to help stopping the spread of COVID-19 to achieve
the goal of virus elimination as well as provide more job opportunities.

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Dr. Pong Chiu Fai, Executive Vice Chairman of AHKP, said:
“Establishing a long-term wastewater
monitoring system to detect any coronavirus not only can detect outbreaks, but also fight a
pandemic effectively. Under a severe pandemic situation, the best way to cut
off all invisible transmission chains is to implement drastic measures such
mandatory testing and reducing the mobility of citizens. Their livelihood can
only be restored if cases are eliminated as soon as possible, and this will lead
Hong Kong out of the current situation”.

 

Mr Samson
Wong, Chairman of AHKP, believes that the traditional contingency plans for
dealing with infectious diseases does not seem to be applicable to the COVID-19
pandemic.

Mainland could manage to have close monitoring the
situation, and cities locked down under certain circumstances, so that a large
number of tests for the virus can be organised to suppress the pandemic.

 

However, Mr
Wong also commented that although the SAR
Government has not been able to follow the same approach in full due to
differences in the social system, it should arrange adequate resources in a
timely manner and choose strict principles of epidemic prevention and more
surveillance methods to continuously innovate measures to
deal with the pandemic. Everyone should carry on with
the basic goal of eliminating all cases because, once measures are relaxed, the
situation may rebound and become more severe again. Further resources will then
have to be used to fight the disease and recovery will be delayed.

 

Please download more photos from below link﹕https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1MN4ZoDs0QbPVfKAEqZVSc3tWdpSmDwqG?usp=sharing

About the Association of Hong Kong Professionals (AHKP)

The
Association of Hong Kong Professionals (“AHKP”) was established in August 2005,
a non-profit seeking organisation dedicated in promoting Hong Kong professional
services industries, contributing to citizens’ livelihood, upholding our core
values, and enhancing Hong Kong professionals’ representation and
competitiveness. As of 2018, over 600 professional individuals have joined
AHKP, spinning across the spectrum of ten professional institutions, including
doctors, dentists, barristers, lawyers, engineers, architects, planners,
surveyors, landscape
architects, accountants and company secretaries. AHKP is always advocating in Hong Kong social and economic policies
and development, as well as accelerating professional exchange between Hong
Kong and Mainland China.

Website: http://ahkp.com.hk/

Please download
AHKP’s journal here: http://ahkp.com.hk/hk/journal/

The Association of Hong Kong Professionals Proposes Innovative Measures to Curb Pandemic

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