Thu, May 01, 2003 - Page 3 News List

SARS epidemic: Delegation leader, WHO advocate put in quarantine

By Melody Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Wu Shuh-min (吳樹民), President of Foundation of Medical Professionals Alliance in Taiwan (FMPAT) and the head of Taiwan Society North (TSN), yesterday left home for Taipei Veteran General Hospital for a two-week quarantine.

But a FMPAT official said yesterday that Wu will lead the FMPAT delegation for Geneva next month to boost Taiwan's bid for the World Health Organization (WHO) as scheduled.

Wu, a permanent advocate for Taiwan's participation in the international health body, is also a doctor at Jen Chi Hospital's department of thoracic medicine.

Wu is under quarantine due to the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) at the hospital and the government's decision on Tuesday to seal the hospital for two weeks.

Wu has not developed any SARS-like symptoms, while 20 suspected SARS cases at the hospital has been reported as of yesterday.

Wu was unreachable as of press time last night.

But the TSN said that while Wu had begun home quarantine last Friday, he will be free on May 14.

Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉), executive director of the FMPAT, Taiwan's major lobbying group for Taiwan's entrance into the WHO, said Wu would still be participating in the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.

"By the time of Wu's scheduled trip to Geneva, his quarantine period will have already ended," said Lin.

The WHA is due to be held in from May 19 to May 28. Taiwan has been appealing for joining the WHA as an observer.

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