Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) reported no new SARS cases on
Sunday, paving the way for the World Health Organization to remove the
once-hard-hit region from its list of SARS-infected areas.
Sunday was the 20th day since the last confirmed SARS patient in Hong Kong
was hospitalized, and WHO was expected to remove Hong Kong from its list as soon
as Monday, health officials said.
Taiwan - which once had the third worst outbreak of the pneumonia-like
disease after Hong Kong and the mainland - was hoping to meet the same goal: On
Sunday, the island marked its fifth straight day without a new reported
And the outbreak appeared to be receding in China. In the mainland, the
number of patients currently with SARS fell below 100 on Sunday for the first
time in months - down to 97 from 123 the previous day, the Health Ministry said.
No new SARS fatalities or infections were reported - the 11th day without new
cases in Beijing.
The Chinese government plans to lift a ban on tourist travel to Tibet on July
1, Xinhua News Agency reported. The ban was imposed on Tibet and other western
regions June 25 to prevent the spread of SARS into poor regions without adequate
Tibet has reported no SARS deaths or cases.
MAKING A STATEMENT
Hong Kong has had 296 deaths from severe acute respiratory syndrome and a
total of 1,755 people infected. As of Sunday, 49 people were still hospitalized.
To demonstrate Hong Kong's safety, Secretary for Economic Development Stephen
Ip visited a hotel where the Hong Kong's outbreak began spreading in February.
Accompanied by a group of hoteliers, Ip toured the room on the ninth floor of
the Metropole Hotel where a Chinese mainland medical professor had stayed and
Also Sunday, the second hospital doctor killed by SARS in Hong Kong was
remembered at a funeral attended by the SAR leaders and grieving colleagues and
Dr. Cheng Ha-yan, 30, who died June 1, had volunteered to work in a SARS
ward, but was infected by a patient who initially had no obvious symptoms of the
virus at Tai Po Hospital.
Colleagues and friends - most wearing surgical masks - streamed in to pay
their respects at Cheng's funeral, where an altar was adorned with candles,
white flowers and a picture of Cheng.