- Thousands of investigators fanned out across a district
in Beijing yesterday, searching for victims of the Severe Acute Respiratory
Syndrome (SARS) virus, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed
the outbreak had yet to reach its peak in China.
- Some 30,000 investigators inspected businesses and homes
in Haidan, a district of 2.2 million people.
- Households were given a thermometer and emergency contact
numbers. Offices and businesses were told they must install temperature-monitoring
- Strict measures have put more than 25,000 people in quarantine
across China but the death toll is still rising, with 138 more cases and
eight new fatalities reported yesterday.
- Beijing has about 2,000 cases of infection - nearly half
the county?s total - and 107 of the 214 deaths.
- Chinese premier Wen Jiabao said the outbreak in the Chinese
capital "still remains grave". He ordered officials at all levels
to work hard against the illness or face harsh punishment, the official
Xinhua news agency reported.
- "It is very important to do the job well in Beijing,
which is the capital and the political and cultural centre of the country,"
Mr Wen said.
- In Brussels, European Union health ministers yesterday
agreed that passengers arriving from SARS-infected countries should fill
in questionnaires on their travels but rejected subjecting them to medical
- The ministers considered an Italian proposal to screen
all passengers arriving from SARS-affected zones, but turned down the idea.
- "This would be false security. We can?t afford that,"
said Klaus Schroeder, Germany?s junior health minister.
- Several proposals had been laid out in draft conclusions
from an emergency meeting to discuss how to prevent the flu-like SARS outbreak
from spreading in Europe. The ministers also declined to give their blessing
to a European Commission plan for an EU centre for disease prevention and
control, but recommended instead closer co-operation between existing national
- But it is China that is still giving most cause for concern.
- Gro Harlem Brundtland, WHO director-general, said before
yesterday?s meeting in Brussels: "We have a window of opportunity.
We still can contain the first new disease of this century and make it
- Later she warned that SARS was still spreading despite
tough action. "Certainly, we have not seen a peak in China yet,"
she said "There is obviously an increase in the outbreak going on."
- The US electronics firm Motorola said yesterday it had
closed its China headquarters in Beijing after an employee contracted SARS.
- To stop the spread of SARS, Beijing has closed schools,
built a new 1,000-bed hospital on its outskirts and ordered travel restrictions.
- In central China, protesters in Hujiayao village in Henan
province ransacked a hospital on 28 and 29 April that had been designated
as a SARS treatment centre, destroying walls and fencing.
- "People were worried about being infected, because
the hospital was close to the village," said a local official.
- In the nearby city of Linzhou, a mob attacked a hospital
and a disease-prevention office on 28 April after hearing the two sites
were to receive SARS patients, officials said.
- Hong Kong yesterday reported six more SARS deaths, pushing
its tally to 193. However, only nine new cases of infection were reported.
- One new death was reported in Taiwan. Singapore also
reported a new SARS death.
- Hong Kong doctors say some SARS patients have survived
by receiving a serum containing antibodies to the virus obtained from recovered