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Ministry: No SARS recurrence in China
( 2003-09-04 10:03) (Xinhua)

The Chinese Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed in Beijing Wednesday that no suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) case has emerged in the mainland of China since Aug 16 this year.

Doctors and nurses of the Beijing Ditan Hospital celebrate at a ceremony entitled "Bid Farewell to SARS and Usher in Tomorrow" to bid their adieus to the last two SARS patients August 16, 2003. The hospital has resumed its normal medical operations. [newsphoto.com.cn]

A ministry official said that since Aug. 16, when the last two SARS patients in the mainland of China were discharged from hospital, there have been neither confirmed SARS cases nor suspected ones.

According to the official, though the ministry no longer issuesdaily public information releases as it did during the epidemic period, the daily report mechanism has been maintained within the health departments at all levels. So far, no single SARS case has been reported.

It was learned that the Beijing Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently sent a letter to the ministry, requesting clarification of hearsay that suspected SARS cases have reappeared in Beijing. The ministry confirmed with the local health departments that no such case has shown up so far.

According to the official, the ministry has mapped out a working plan for the prevention of SARS for 2003 and 2004. If the epidemic reappears, the ministry and local health departments will release relevant and timely information to the public in accordance with relative laws on the prevention of infectious diseases and related regulations.

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