Fri, May 30, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Army called in to disinfect Hsinchu after SARS scare

By Bill Heaney  /  STAFF REPORTER

Troops from the nation's infantry are disinfecting the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park today -- home to Taiwan's high-tech computer chip industry -- officials from the park said yesterday.

"The disinfection will start at 9am [today] and will take one day to complete," the park's public relations manager Huang Ching-ming (黃慶銘) said yesterday. Troops from the infantry's sixth division chemical corps are expected to spray all public areas and the exterior of buildings in the park today in an attempt to allay fears about the damage a SARS outbreak could do to the nation's critical chip industry.

The news comes after a suspected case of SARS over at Silicon Integrated Systems Corp (SiS, 矽統科技) turned out to be a false alarm at the beginning of the month. An engineer at SiS' research and development center outside the park in Hsinchu City turned out to be suffering from the flu, but the shock prodded the park's administrators into action. All 380 companies in the park must now have contingency plans to continue working in the event of an outbreak of the deadly virus.

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