CPC gives NT$100 million
State-owned Chinese Petroleum Corp decided in a board meeting yesterday to donate NT$100 million (US$2.85 million) to combat severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). A company official said that half of the donation would be given to a Cabinet committee set up to fight the disease to spend on medical staff treating SARS patients. The remaining NT$50 million will buy things such as masks, disinfection solution and thermometers for residents near the company's refineries, naphtha crackers and oil tanks, the official said. The board meeting also decided to ask its staff to donate a day's wages to combat SARS and is expecting to collect between NT$12 million and NT$20 million. The company was the first state-owned enterprise to call for donations to fight SARS.
DPP officials pay respects
DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄), together with the party's two deputy secretary-generals Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) and Lee Chin-yung (李進勇), paid homage to Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital's late head nurse Chen Ching-chiu (陳靜秋) at the municipal Taipei No. 2 Funeral Parlor yesterday. Chang said President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will also come to pay his respects in the near future. Chen Ching-chiu passed away last Thursday after becoming infected with SARS while taking care of SARS patients. The Taipei City Government set up a mourning hall at the Taipei No. 2 Funeral Parlor on Sunday. Chang said the 48-year-old nurse was a fine example of the people's fight against the disease. He also stressed that the DPP will appeal to the government to finance the education of her eight-year-old daughter.
Nurses rush to help
Six nurses at Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital flew to Taipei yesterday morning to volunteer their services in the fight against SARS . The city's first volunteer nursing corps will help attend SARS-affected patients at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. These nurses all have accumulated experience in tending seriously ill people at Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital's emergency or infection wards. After finishing the volunteer work in Taipei, they are expected to become "seed teachers" back in Kaohsiung, assisting the city's hospitals to better their prevention measures against SARS.
WRA says supplies okay
Water supplies for civilian use in northern Taiwan will remain normal despite a noticeable increase in water consumption arising from the fight against SARS, Water Resources Agency Deputy Director Chen Shen-hsien said yesterday. Although the northern Taipei, Taoyuan and Hsinchu regions have not yet recovered from a drought, Chen claimed that there will be no water shortages, as the water levels of the major reservoirs have improved thanks to recent monsoon precipitation. However, he urged the public to try to conserve water, although weathermen have forecast frequent precipitation in the coming two months. Water consumption in northern Taiwan has jumped since the outbreak of SARS in the middle of March as a result of the large amounts of water needed by individuals and the mass disinfections carried out in many residential communities. The water level of the Feitsui Reservoir stood at 141.82m yesterday, only 0.82m above the 141-meter low level. The water level of the Shihmen Reservoir came to 220.77m, only 1.77m higher than the 219m low level.