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No.0306 April 15, 2003


1. President Hu Jintao Inspects SARS Control Work
2. Premier Wen Jiabao: Control of SARS Vital Importance
3. China Steps up Battle against SARS
4. Public Transport Sterilization Urged to Fight SARS
5. Health Ministry Hopes to Join Taiwan in Fighting SARS

Summary

During his recent inspection tour in south China’s Guangdong Province, Chinese President Hu Jintao called for continuous efforts in the prevention and treatment of SARS and urged CPC organizations and governments at all levels to create the necessary conditions for medical workers in their fight against the disease.

Addressing a national working conference on preventing and treating SARS held by State Council on April 13, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that as the control of SARS was of vital importance, effective and powerful measures would be taken to prevent the spread of it and to ensure people’s health.

China stepped up its nationwide fight against SARS. Facts have been released, and preventive measures and proper treatment have been offered across the country. Ministry of Railways adopted measures to inspect and strengthen sanitation on its railway network. Ministry of Health joined hands with the Ministry of Science and Technology to step up research efforts.

A joint notice was issued not long ago by related Chinese ministries to strengthen sterilization and quarantine work to prevent the spread of SARS through vehicles. At various Beijing Railway stations, temporary quarantine rooms have been set up and effective ways adopted to prevent the spread of the disease.

China’s Ministry of Health expected to exchange information on SARS and other public health issues with relevant organizations in Taiwan, hoping that medical workers across the Straits could join hands in the fight against SARS.



1. President Hu Jintao Inspects SARS Control Work

Chinese President Hu Jintao inspected the Disease Prevention and Control Center in south China’s Guangdong Province on April 14 to obtain further information on the efforts to control severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.

Accompanied by local officials, Hu talked with medical workers who have been engaged in controlling the epidemic there and 23 hospitals in Guangdong.

Hu solicited the views of the medical experts on SARS control, who responded that intensified control efforts, the early identification of the causative agent, the establishment of an effective quick response mechanism and the dissemination of SARS prevention and treatment knowledge are all important in combating the disease.

Hu said that he and other leaders have been deeply concerned about the SARS epidemic ever since it broke out in certain parts of Guangdong. “We are worried about the serious threat to the health and lives of some people, and we rejoice at the recuperation of SARS victims thanks to the meticulous work of medical workers.”

He added that, thanks to a series of measures and hard work, Guangdong has brought the disease under effective control.

On behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, Hu extended his gratitude and regards to all the people who made contributions to the control of the disease.

He said SARS control should be regarded as an important task given that it exerts a strong impact on China’s overall process of reform and opening up and on the health and lives of people.

He called for continuous efforts in the prevention and treatment of the disease. He said: “We shall employ every means possible to cure SARS patients as soon as possible and to prevent the further spread or resurgence of the epidemic.”

He urged CPC organizations and governments at all levels to create the necessary conditions for medical workers in their fight against SARS.

2. Premier Wen Jiabao: Control of SARS Vital Importance

Control of the atypical pneumonia virus is a matter of the utmost importance and effective and powerful measure to prevent the spread of SARS and immediate treatment to ensure people’s health should be guaranteed, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on April 13.

Addressing a national working conference on preventing and treating SARS held by State Council, Wen urged departments to strengthen supervision and prevention of the disease on airplanes, trains, ships, buses and entry-exit ports.

These major transport stations must isolate any virus victims from the general public without hesitation, he said.

Wen stressed that different places should adopt different measures and the valuable treatment experience and knowledge gained from places where SARS had been detected should be introduced to the rest of the country so that it could remain alert to the disease.

The premier asked scientists and professionals to continue their medical experiments and spare no efforts to study the cause of SARS.

According to Wen, China is improving its response to public health emergencies by establishing a national mechanism to deal with major threats.

During a visit to You’an Hospital in Beijing the day before, Wen highly praised medical workers for their selfless dedication and their humanitarian spirit of “healing the wounded and rescuing the dying.”

Wen urged medical workers to rely on scientific methods in preventing and treating SARS, to probe all sorts of protective measures, to try to find the cause of the disease and to publicize preventive knowledge among people.

The premier hoped that all health departments and medical workers fully recognize their great responsibility in ensuring people’s health and continue their efforts for the prevention and treatment of the disease.

3. China Steps up Battle against SARS

China stepped up its nationwide fight against SARS. Facts have been released, and preventive measures and proper treatment have been offered across the country.

Entry-exit health advice has been given by the Ministry of Health and the State General Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine to travelers to prevent SARS from spreading into or out of China.

Travelers are required to report to the quarantine authorities if they were ill with high fever and respiratory symptoms and have had close contact with SARS patients or been to areas where SARS had been found.

Entry travelers are required to report their specific addresses and telephone numbers during their travel in China.

On April 15, the Ministry of Railways announced it had also adopted measures to inspect and strengthen sanitation on its railway network to prevent the SARS.  

China's Ministry of Science and Technology also said that day it had raised US$ 1.21 million in emergency funds for research in SARS. Chinese scientists are working feverishly to identify the cause of the disease as well as to develop treatments.

In order to increase the national prevention capability and raise the effectiveness of clinical treatments, the Ministry of Health has joined hands with the Ministry of Science and Technology to step up research efforts.

4. Public Transport Sterilization Urged to Fight SARS

The Chinese epidemic prevention sector is working closely with the country’s transportation sector, specifically, with bus, railway and airport passenger terminals in the prevention and monitoring of SARS.

“We are currently working at the Beijing West Railway Station to help the railway sector prevent the spread of SARS in railway cars,” said Qiu Jian, director of the monitoring department of the Beijing Railway Epidemic Prevention Station situated at the Beijing West Railway Station, on April 14.

One of Beijing’s two major passenger railway stations, the Beijing West Railway Station covers an area of 150,000 square meters. Every day, about 50,000 passengers exit and enter the station.

Guo Qifu, deputy head of the station, said that all of the windows in the waiting rooms have been opened to increase ventilation, which is thought to be one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the disease.

Guo said a temporary quarantine room has been set up in the station for possible medical treatment and isolation, with the help of epidemic and health authorities.

The same measures have also been taken in the Beijing Railway Station, which has a higher passenger volume than the Beijing West Railway Station. In addition, four local railway branches in Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan and Datong have all taken similar measures to prevent the spread of SARS in the railway sector.

A notice has been issued jointly by the Ministries of Health, Finance, Railways, Communications and the General Administration of Civil Aviation, requiring that all planes, trains, ships, automobiles, exit and entry ports, stations and airports, should strengthen their sterilization and quarantine work to prevent the spread of SARS through vehicles.

5. Health Ministry Hopes to Join Taiwan in Fighting SARS

China’s Ministry of Health urged medical workers across the Taiwan Straits to join hands in the fight against SARS.

The central government had been concerned about the situation in Taiwan Province since the first case of SARS was reported there in March this year, said Liu Peilong, director of the Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao affairs department under the Ministry of Health on April 11.

The ministry wanted to exchange information on SARS and other public health issues with relevant organizations in Taiwan, he added.

The central government was willing to provide assistance to Taiwanese people jointly with international organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), said Qi Xiaoqiu, director of the ministry’s disease control department.

The ministry would take account of the requests from medical workers in Taiwan for technical assistance from the WHO and respond quickly after talks with the WHO, Qi added.

The WHO experts had been invited to attend a cross-Strait medical seminar to be held later this month, he said.

The seminar on SARS, sponsored by the Chinese Medical Association and Chinese Preventive Medical Association, would be attended by doctors from across the Taiwan Straits.

Detailed information on how to prevent SARS, based on the experience gained in south China’s Guangdong Province, had been sent to relevant medical institutions in Taiwan through non-governmental channels, including guidelines for the treatment of SARS, Liu said.

The latest information on the prevention and treatment of SARS on the Chinese mainland was put on line promptly and updated data on the WHO web site was also translated into Chinese, he said.

Qi said that the ministry welcomed Taiwan medical workers to come to the mainland and mainland experts were willing to visit Taiwan to improve exchanges. The ministry has already received some doctors from Taiwan at the request of the Taipei Medical Association.

 


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