Thu, May 08, 2003 - Page 3 News List

DPP sending its volunteer troops into battle zone

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

Two DPP volunteers get ready to join the efforts to combat the spread of SARS in Taipei City and Taipei County following an announcement by DPP headquarters yesterday that the party is setting up a Volunteer SARS Prevention Workforce.


The DPP says it is establishing a volunteer workforce comprising more than 500 rank-and-file party members to join the efforts to combat the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Taipei City and Taipei County.

"The fight against SARS has now entered the phase of community transmission prevention. The DPP's SARS-prevention volunteer group will start with the community sterilization in the continued efforts to battle against SARS," DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) told a press conference yesterday.

Lee stressed that it is the goal of the "Green Volunteer Group for SARS Prevention" to help the public lead a normal life as much as possible while the medical authorities are gearing up efforts to prevent the spread of the disease from medical facilities into neighboring communities.

The group comprises 300 party members from the DPP's Taipei City Chapter and 200 others from the Taipei County Chapter.

Citing the research studies from Hong Kong, Singapore and Germany Lee said the coronavirus that causes SARS could be effectively eliminated through appropriate sterilization of surfaces.

DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) will lead the 500-plus party members to gather in front of the Wan-hua train station today, as that district -- the location of Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital and Jen Chi Hospital -- has been worst hit by SARS.

In addition to helping with the community sterilization efforts, the volunteer workforce will support social and medical workers with tasks related to home quarantines, including delivering meals and keeping a record of quarantine check-up forms, Lee said.

"More than 3,000 people in Taipei County have been put in home quarantine, but the government's manpower is limited. Therefore, we will have our volunteer workers trained to assist the mass-scale home quarantines," Lee said.

Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰), head of the DPP's Department of Social Development said that epidemic prevention is an ongoing battle for both the central and local governments.

"The DPP will join in the battle with the central and local governments to contain the spread of SARS. So far, the party has given out ear thermometers to hospitals, schools and boroughs adjacent to SARS-impacted areas," Chou said.

Huang Ching-lin (黃慶林), director of DPP's Taipei City Chapter, said that the volunteers will start carrying the sterilizers to disinfect the communities in Taipei's Chung-cheng and Wan-hua districts. They will also deliver soap and SARS-prevention leaflets.

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