Two typhoons in the Philippine Sea and a tropical storm near the China coast near Hong Kong and Macau have the region on alert. From left to right: Tropical Storm Linfa is tracking westward parallel to the coast of China, losing steam as the storm interacts with land. Typhoon Chan-hom is over the Ryukyu Trench south of Okinawa on a track heading northwest toward the China coast north of Wenzhou. A sharp northward turn forecast after landfall could take the center of the storm very near Shanghai.
Source:China Meteorological News Press
Yang Xiaohua, member of National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) from Hong Kong hopes to see unified early warning signals of natural disasters among mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
Yang has worked in Beijing in 1980s and traveled a lot between mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. In face of extreme weather, he always felt troublesome because of different warning signals of same weather in these regions.
MANILA, 15 July 2009, 1600 hrs - Health authorities in New Zealand and Australia warned of an increased strain on intensive care units over the next few weeks as cases of Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 continued to grow significantly.
New Zealand Health Minister, Tony Ryall, said the visits to health clinics would put more pressure on the health system as flu season peaked.
MANILA, 14 July 2009, 1600 hrs - Almost 100 Australians are currently in hospital with Pandemic (H1N1) 2009, health authorities said, as a new analysis of hospitalized cases in the state of Victoria found that young and healthy people had been severely sickened by the virus.
Australia is one of a number of countries in the Western Pacific Region to have shifted to a mitigation phase in its response to the disease and is no longer testing all suspected cases. Also, some countries are not reporting new cases on a daily basis.
MANILA, 13 July 2009, 1600 hrs - Singapore health authorities announced an end to thermal screening of travellers entering the country, as it continued its shift from containment to mitigation of the virus. Screening had become less useful since there was now localized community spread in Singapore, the authorities stated.
Singapore's decision comes as some countries in the Western Pacific Region refocus their response efforts to provide better medical care to patients with severe illness rather than try to keep track of individual cases.
MANILA, 10 July 2009, 1600 hrs - The summer holidays have been brought forward for 43 secondary schools in Hong Kong (China) in an effort to curtail the spread of Pandemic H1N1 2009, health authorities said, as 57 new infections were detected in the territory. The Department of Health called on parents to pay attention to the health of their children, and to ensure they practiced good personal hygiene.
On 9 July, New Zealand announced its sixth death linked to Pandemic H1N1, that of a woman with underlying health conditions.
MANILA, 9 July 2009, 1600 hrs - As its case numbers approached the 7000 mark, Australia announced AU$7 million (US$5.45 million) in funding for research projects to learn more about Pandemic H1N1 2009 and to help produce better responses to future outbreaks.
Health authorities in Australia, which has the highest number of cases in the Western Pacific Region, said the funding would be provided for 41 projects to help national authorities tailor their responses to the virus.
MANILA, 8 July 2009, 1600 hrs-The World Health Organization said it would ask countries hardest hit by Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 to move away from laboratory testing of individual cases and towards collecting broader data about the disease.
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MANILA, 6 July 2009, 1600 hrs - The number of deaths in the Western Pacific Region associated with Pandemic H1N1 2009 increased to 16 in the reporting period to 6 July, after New Zealand reported that three people with the virus had died.
The first fatality, a 19-year old man in Hamilton, died on 28 June. It is not yet known whether he had underlying health conditions. On 2 July, a 42-year old man with underlying medical conditions died in Christchurch, and on 4 July a young girl with underlying medical problems died in Wellington.
MANILA, 2 July 2009, 1600 hrs-Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo went into voluntary quarantine in a Manila hospital after returning from a two-week tour that took her to Japan, Brazil, Colombia and Hong Kong. Aides said the move was designed to set an example to other Filipinos returning from locations that had outbreaks of Pandemic H1N1 2009. The President was reported to be in good health.
MANILA, 1 July 2009, 1600 hrs-Australia's Royal Flying Doctor Service has stepped in to help evacuate indigenous Australians from remote northern communities as health officials warn that the indigenous population is more vulnerable than others to Pandemic H1N1 2009.