Dutch guests return to quarantined Hong Kong hotel
The three Dutch nationals suffering from symptoms of Mexican flu have been discharged from hospital and will now stay in the hotel till 8 May.HONG KONG – All Dutch nationals admitted to hospital in Hong Kong suffering from symptoms of Mexican flu have returned to their hotel where they are currently being held in quarantine.
On Saturday, three Dutch nationals were admitted to hospital with a high temperature. Two of them were allowed to return to their hotel earlier and the third was discharged on Sunday evening, once doctors established they no longer had a fever.
The three belonged to the same family and are doing well, according to one of the patients Ingrid van de Aa.
Her husband is suffering from nausea, probably a side effect of the treatment with Tamiflu, she said.
On Friday night, Hong Kong enforced a seven-day quarantine of 200 guests and 100 staff at the Metropark hotel after a Mexican visitor who stayed in the Metropark hotel for around seven hours became Asia's first confirmed case of human swine flu on Friday.
He remained in a stable condition on Sunday, officials said.
However, for many foreigners who are being quarantined inside the four-star hotel, their patience is running low.
"We have had one Korean who was screaming and shouting and an English couple who were very upset," buying agent Kevin Ireland told AFP by phone.
On Saturday, a masked female guest broke down and had to be comforted by a health worker, an AFP reporter witnessed.
Dutch guest Carlo Hessing, who was taken to hospital as a precaution because he had a high temperature before returning to the hotel said: "People in white protective gear come and go constantly. Everyone is walking around with masks in front of their mouths.... It is like being in a giant operating theatre."
The endless diet of rice dishes and lack of television channels was also beginning to grind, said Ireland, who added that he understood the decision.
However, some experts have criticised the government’s action as useless.
Gabriel Leung, a top government health official, apologised for any inconvenience.
"We would like to thank the hotel's guests and staff, who have shown tremendous understanding and courage," he told reporters.
"Of course, we realise that this is not an easy situation, but nearly all the residents have been very, very accommodating and understand why we have made this decision."
The tough measures come within the context of the 2003 SARS outbreak, when nearly 300 people died and the city became a virtual ghost town.
At the time, the government faced severe criticism for not acting quickly enough. Its later quarantine measures, which saw hundreds of people detained, were praised for containing the deadly disease.
Radio Netherlands / AFP / Expatica