Evaluation of the Possible Impacts of Open Policy Allowing Direct Cross-Strait Traffic on the Epidemic of Acute Infectious Disease by Examining Data from Hong Kong Experience

Jiun-Shian Kuo

2009 Vol.25 NO.4

Correspondence Author: Jiun-Shian Kuo


With the development of open interaction policy, the frequencies of contact between people in both sides of the Taiwan Strait will increase inevitably. In order to understand the possible threats of infectious disease in China to Taiwan because of the policy, we analyzed the trend of the number of traveler and occurrence of infectious disease associated with interaction with China after 1997. This research paper is to analyze the impact of the threats of infectious disease after the policy to allow the visits to Hong Kong from China directly. During the period 1997 to 2007, the figures of overall outbound and inbound tourists to Hong Kong had increased 2.1 and 2.7 times, respectively, but the figure of inbound tourists from China only has increased as many as 6.7 times (from 2.3 millions increased to 15.49 millions dramatically). Although, according to the statistics from Hong Kong Department of Health, the number of Notifiable Infectious Disease cases in Hong Kong during the same period has not increased significantly, it is an undebatable fact that the SARS epidemic in 2003 was actually introduced from China. Therefore, in order to safeguard citizens’ health, some procedures such as to enhance the ability of monitoring the epidemic occurring in China, the capacity of the epidemic control, perform the international quarantine practice and domestic disease surveillance thoroughly, are still needed to be strengthened and implemented continually.