Hong Kong govt to bring in crisis advisers on SARS

The Hong Kong government is to draft in agency support to handle crisis communications surrounding the deadly SARS epidemic affecting the region.

The government is this week on the verge of signing a deal with UK-based Live PR to handle the brief, according to Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office chief London PRO Raphael Li.

He confirmed the brief will be to assist on PR on this issue in the UK, and may involve some pan-European work.

The hire comes as the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak sweeps Hong Kong and China. This is set to have a devastating affect on tourism and investment in the area.

Earlier this week, Hong Kong health officials were reported to be bracing themselves for the number of cases to leap from 700 to 3,000.

As PRWeek went to press, 100 people in China and Hong Kong had died from SARS, a new strain of pneumonia.

It is believed to have started in southern China before moving to Hong Kong, and then spreading around the world.

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