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Country responds to suspected SARS case
( 2003-12-29 09:57) (China Daily)

China quickly responded to the latest suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) case in South China's Guangdong Province.

The Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Health informed its Hong Kong and Macao counterparts of the case to warn them to raise their vigilance to prevent the disease from spreading in the southern Chinese region, said Wang Zhiqiong, deputy director general of the bureau, yesterday.

And health inspections in Luohu and other land border checkpoints between Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macao have been expanded, Wang said.

In Beijing, public health departments responded quickly to prevent the spread of the disease after the latest development.

Hospitals in Beijing were told to strengthen monitoring and examinations of fever cases, especially those from Guangdong, said Guo Jiyong, deputy director of the bureau.

Teams at all municipal entry-exit points, including railway stations and airports, were called up to strengthen temperature screening systems, especially for travellers from Guangzhou.

Anybody with temperature of over 38 degrees centigrade will be sent to government-designated hospitals as soon as possible, Guo said.

Many other areas of China, such as Shanghai and Southwest China's Sichuan Province, have also taken emergency measures to prevent possible epidemic.

Despite the suspected case, restaurants, shopping centres, bars, cinemas, and other entertainment venues continued to enjoy brisk business over the weekend in Guangzhou.

A bar operator surnamed Wang said her bar's business went up at least 20 per cent on Saturday night.

"There is nothing to be afraid of," Wang said.

Qiu Delin, manager of the Beijing-based Guorentang Medicine Shop said sales of face masks, disinfectors and traditional medicine that was believed to be effective in preventing SARS in May were usual.

"There have been no hot sales so far after a suspected SARS case was found in Guangzhou over the weekend," he said.

In another development, at all air, sea and road frontier passes, people coming in and out Viet Nam are being subjected to temperature examinations, and anyone with a body temperature above 38 degrees centigrade and flu symptoms will be quarantined, Xinhua reported yesterday.

Meanwhile, Singapore and Italy have also taken quarantine measures for Chinese travellers.

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