Date: 6 January 2020


Dear Staff and Students,

We are writing to draw your attention to the cluster of pneumonia cases detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province. As at 8 am, 5 January 2020, 59 cases have been reported. According to the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, as of noon on 5 January 2020 and over the past 24 hours, local public hospitals admitted seven people who had been to Wuhan in the past 14 days.

The HKSAR Government has enhanced surveillance and launched Preparedness and Response Plan for Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance.

In this connection, the University has taken the following measures:

  1. University Health Service (UHS) has advised the Hall Management to step up precautionary measures, and to strengthen disinfection and cleaning at Student Halls
  2. Office of Student Resources and Residential Life has issued hall notice to all student residents to stay vigilant to guard against viral pneumonia cases

Besides, Facilities Management Office (FMO) will strengthen campus cleaning measures.

You are reminded to stay vigilant to this health situation and take note of the following advices from the Centre for Health Protection (CHP):

Health Advice

To prevent pneumonia and respiratory tract infection, members of the public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene. They are advised to:

  • Perform hand hygiene frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes; after touching public installations such as handrails or door knobs; or when hands are contaminated by respiratory secretion after coughing or sneezing;
  • Wash hands with liquid soap and water, and rub for at least 20 seconds. Then rinse with water and dry with a disposable paper towel or hand dryer. If hand washing facilities are not available, or when hands are not visibly soiled, hand hygiene with 70 to 80% alcohol-based handrub is an effective alternative;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of soiled tissues into a lidded rubbish bin, then wash hands thoroughly; and
  • When having respiratory symptoms, wear a surgical mask, refrain from work or attending class at school, avoid going to crowded places and seek medical advice promptly.

Travel Advice

The public should take heed of the preventive measures below when travelling outside Hong Kong:

  • Avoid touching animals, poultry / birds or their droppings;
  • Avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms;
  • Avoid making close contact with patients, especially those with symptoms of acute respiratory infections;
  • Adhere to food safety and hygiene rules such as avoiding consuming raw or undercooked animal products, including milk, eggs and meat, or foods which may be contaminated by animal secretions, excretions (such as urine) or contaminated products, unless they have been properly cooked, washed or peeled;
  • If feeling unwell when outside Hong Kong, especially if having a fever or cough, wear a surgical mask, inform the hotel staff or tour escort and seek medical advice at once; and
  • After returning to Hong Kong, consult a doctor promptly if having a fever or other symptoms, inform the doctor of recent travel history and wear a surgical mask to help prevent spread of the disease.

​Further information on this Disease is available at CHP’s website (

Important Points to Note for PolyU Community

For PolyU staff and students returning from Wuhan, self-monitoring of body temperature and wearing surgical masks for 14 days are recommended. Consult a doctor promptly if having a fever or respiratory symptoms.

You may also seek medical consultation at UHS and call 2766-5433 for appointment booking. The clinic is now temporarily located at Rooms 101 & 102, PolyU Student Halls of Residence, 1 Hung Lai Road, Hung Hom, Kowloon.

The Health, Safety and Environment Office (HSEO) serves as the University Central Reporting Unit for communicable diseases and liaises with various stakeholders on the environmental hygiene control measures. You are encouraged to report any confirmed communicable disease to your Head of Department and copy to us by using the designated form (HSE Form 28) downloadable from the PolyU intranet (

If you have any questions on the reporting procedures and environmental hygiene, please contact Dr. Dennis LAI at 3400-8393 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Ms. Winnie CHO at 3400-8399 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) of HSEO.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Health, Safety and Environment Office