Government of Hong Kong declared kindergarten and primary school kids an early break for the Easter holiday in the midst of a widespread flu outbreak.
"All primary schools, special schools and kindergartens and child care centers will be closed in the hope of slowing down the spreading of flu and provide a chance for schools to clean up and make a better environment," Health Secretary York Chow said.
The government has ordered an investigation as three children have died in the last week of the outbreak. One of them was seven-year-old Law Ho-Ming, who was admitted over the weekend with flu-like symptoms. He died on Tuesday.
Officials say five of his classmates are sick and hospitalized, while 30 others are displaying similar flu-like symptoms.
Hong Kong is putting into action a plan devised after a deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) five years ago. The flu-like illness killed 299 people between February and May of 2003, according to the World Health Organization.
SARS affected more than 8,000 people between November 2002 and July 2003 in what the WHO deemed a "global threat" — nearly 800 of those who contracted the disease died from it.
Hong Kong, China and Vietnam were the hardest hit. There have been scattered cases of the illness in the years since, but no widespread outbreaks.