--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates
Hotel Service

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation
Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the UN
Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland
Foreign Affairs College
Institute of American Studies Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Singapore Man Tests Positive for SARS

Singapore health officials confirmed on Monday that a local patient has tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, in the first new case of the disease in four months.

The announcement followed a warning from the World Health Organization earlier Monday that the illness could re-emerge.

Ministry of Health spokeswoman Bey Mui Leng said that initial tests of a local man "proved positive for the SARS virus." Bey said officials used a WHO-approved polymerase chain reaction test which detects the genetic material of the SARS virus itself, not the antibodies that fight it. PCR tests are more accurate than antibody tests.

"We are repeating the test again tonight," Bey said. The man, an ethnic Chinese Singapore citizen, was tested for SARS after showing signs of the illness when trying to enter Singapore General Hospital, Bey said.

Patients checking into Singapore hospitals are required to have their temperature taken as a precaution against SARS. Fever is an early symptom of the illness.

Officials are trying to track down anyone who might have come into contact with the man and will issue them quarantine orders, Bey said.

In Geneva, WHO spokesman Dick Thompson said he could not immediately comment. "We've been getting information from Singapore," he said. "But we're going to need a bit more."

Singapore's last reported case of the respiratory illness occurred in early May.

The city-state has been on alert against a possible second outbreak of SARS, which killed 33 people and sickened 328 in Singapore earlier this year.

Earlier Monday, the director general of the World Health Organization warned that SARS could return, and warned against complacency.

"We have to prepare on the assumption that this will come back," Lee Jong-wook told the annual conference in Manila of the WHO's regional committee for the Western Pacific region.

Some 16 health ministers and 131 representatives from 37 countries and representatives from 37 non-government organizations were attending the five-day meeting.

"Our challenge now is to enhance surveillance networks that will detect and deal with SARS if it does come back," Lee said.

SARS emerged in southern China in November and killed more than 800 people worldwide and infected over 8,400.

Singapore's SARS epidemic began in March this year and raged for three months, sending the city-state's economy into a tailspin. Visitor arrivals fell by as much as 75 percent and hotel occupancy rates plunged from their average 75 percent to as low as 25 percent as tourists and business travelers stayed away.

The epidemic forced the government to dole out 230 million Singapore dollars (US$134 million) in a relief package for the battered hospitality and travel sectors.

In an interview with Channel NewsAsia which aired Friday, Singapore Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew played down the threat of a second SARS wave, saying the local health care system is "well-prepared."

"The second time around, if it comes around, we should know what to do to protect ourselves," Lee said.

(China Daily September 9, 2003)

Guangzhou Resumes Reporting System to Prevent SARS Return
Guidelines Set to Fight SARS Recurrence
Enhanced Cooperation Needed to Track Causes of SARS
HK Urged to Be Prepared for Possible Comeback of SARS
WHO Official Calls for Vigilance Against Possible Return of SARS
Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688