Fri, May 02, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Hsinchu industrial park denies it has SARS cases

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park yesterday denied rumors that it had been invaded by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Two cases of SARS had been reported in the Hsinchu area -- two women who worked as engineers, one for Silicon Integrated System (SIS) and one for Prolific Technology.

"Neither woman was working within the park. They work in their companies' research centers outside the park," said Yen Tsung-ming (顏宗明), a spokesman for the Hsinchu park.

"The SIS engineer fell ill on April 30 and she checked into Mackay Memorial Hospital. She was diagnosed with a fever, but there were no signs of other SARS symptoms such as coughing. She was transferred to the Hsinchu Armed Forces Hospital later the same day," Yen said.

"The Prolific engineer also had high fever and was reported [as a SARS case] the same day as the SIS engineer. Although her fever subsided, she was also transferred to the Hsinchu Armed Forces Hospital," Yen said.

The Hsinchu park is the center of the nation's high-tech chip industry.

SIS is the world's third largest designer of personal computer chipsets. United Microelectronics Corp -- the world's second largest producer of custom-made computer chips -- bought a controlling stake in SIS in January.

It remains to be seen how the reported SARS cases will impact the company's shares. The Taiwan Stock Exchange was closed down yesterday for a national holiday.

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