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Beijing's new suspect SARS patient in critical condition
By Guo Nei (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-29 08:58

China has reported a new suspected SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) case for the 24 hours from 10 am Tuesday to 10 am Wednesday, according to the Ministry of Health's daily surveillance report.

The newly reported suspected SARS patient, surnamed Zhang, is in more serious condition than Beijing's first confirmed case, a woman named Li. They once shared the same hospital ward. Currently, Li is in a relatively stable condition and has had a normal temperature for 12 straight days.

Six suspected SARS cases in Beijing are still receiving medical treatment in Beijing's Ditan Hospital.

In another development, members of World Health Organization (WHO) experts groups who have arrived in Beijing have started working, WHO spokesman Bob Dietz told reporters.

The groups, numbering from 12 to 14 members, have been sent to help China address the SARS situation. The contingent will have arrived fully in Beijing in a day or two, Dietz said.

So far, China has reported a diagnosed SARS case and one suspected case in Anhui and one diagnosed case and six suspected cases in Beijing since April 22, says the ministry report.

No other provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have reported diagnosed or suspected SARS cases.

From those now under medical observation in Beijing, who numbered about 700 on Tuesday, one has been reported with fever while 13 have been removed from medical observation.

The patient in Anhui Province, surnamed Song, has recovered further and reported a normal temperature for five straight days.

None of the people with close contact with Song has shown abnormal symptoms so far and 38 of them have been removed from observation.

Meanwhile, the ministry said 18 visitors from countries such as Australia, Russia, the Republic of Korea and Japan had visited the Institute of Virology of the Chinese Centre for Disease Prevention and Control since March 1.

The institute is where one of the diagnosed patients and one of the suspected SARS patients worked. Experts believe the SARS case in the Chinese mainland in April might have been caused by an infection in one of the institute's labs.

The ministry has informed visitors, countries concerned and the WHO of relevant information and no abnormal problems have been reported.

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