Lecture Two: Summary - Dr Malik Peiris

Key points from the discussion with Dr Malik Peiris:
  • Hong Kong is at the doorstep of a region that has long been a cauldron for infectious diseases.
  • Hong Kong plays a role in spreading these diseases AND in combating them.
  • The lack of communication and cooperation between mainland and Hong Kong officials led to a slow response to the outbreaks.
  • Communications and cooperation (between HK and the mainland, international) have improved on the human health side, but are not where they should be when it comes to animal health. There is a commercial aspect to animal health issues.
  • In contrast to Singapore, Hong Kong’s response to SARS could not be as draconian.
  • Hong Kong research has been integral to the fight against infectious diseases.
  • Public health threats must be viewed as threats to business, to competitiveness.
  • What are Hong Kong’s responsibilities? Hong Kong should spend more on scientific research and the fight against infectious diseases.