Wed, May 14, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Beijing lifts some quarantines, death reported in Nigeria


Chinese authorities lifted some SARS quarantines in Beijing where the infection rate appears to be falling, but the global threat of the disease remains with authorities in Nigeria watching for possible cases after the death of a Taiwanese man there.

China's official Xinhua news agency yesterday reported that about 10,000 Beijing residents were in isolation -- down from a peak of about 16,000 last week.

Malaysia said it will deploy military medics at border crossings to bolster SARS screenings and will host a World Health Organization SARS conference next month.

In Singapore, determined authorities proved that no visitor is immune from SARS checks. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder filled out a health declaration form and was monitored by a thermal-imaging camera after he touched down at Changi airport as part of his Southeast Asian tour.

Schroeder said the procedure was "totally pain-free" -- a quip that won praise from Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, who described the visit as "especially important given the SARS situation."

Also yesterday, Hong Kong mourned the death of its first doctor from SARS.

More than 7,400 cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome have been reported worldwide and the international death toll stood at least 580.

China announced 10 new deaths yesterday, including five in Beijing, bringing the national death toll to 262. The total number of cases in China rose by 80 to 5,086.

Hong Kong said it had seven deaths and six new cases.

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