The Taipei City government decided yesterday to give one thermometer to every household in Taipei to allow residents to check their temperatures on a daily basis to curb the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
To heighten the level of the awareness of SARS, the city government placed an emergency order yesterday for 1 million digital thermometers at a cost of NT$100 million (US$2.87 million).
As the thermometers will not be available all at once, the first batches of the instruments will be distributed first to households in the Wanhua and Chungcheng districts of western Taipei, where Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital, Jenchi Hospital and Chunghsing Hospital -- three local institutions which have been cordoned off after reporting mass SARS transmissions since late April -- are located, said Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
In addition to households, Ma went on, public establishments and private companies alike should also take the temperatures of people arriving in buildings to help identify possible SARS cases.
The city's Bureau of Health also requires temperature checks upon admission to any occasion or event lasting for more than one hour and attended by 100 people or more.
The department also requires personnel at all hospitals and clinics in the city, as well as the fire department, to keep logbooks of their temperatures as reference.
Meanwhile, following a directive from the Ministry of Education, 10 universities and colleges with medical departments have set up special consultation units to help the public prevent the spread of the disease.
A ministry spokesman encouraged all educational establishments with medical departments are encouraged to contribute their resources.