Hoping Hospital nurse dies
Lin Chia-ling (林佳鈴), a 29-year-old nurse employed at Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital, passed away yesterday afternoon at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. She was the third medical worker to die of SARS-related illnesses. Hoping head nurse Chen Ching-chiu (陳靜秋) died May 1 and Jen Chi Hospital nurse Hu Keui-fang (胡貴芳) passed away May 7. Lin had been confined to Hoping Hospital when it was sealed off last month. When staff were changed at the hospital, Lin was sent to the Alternative Service Training Center on April 26 for quarantine. However, she developed a fever the same day and was sent back to the hospital before being transferred to the Armed Forces Sung Shan Hospital the next day. With her health deteriorating, Lin was finally transferred to the Veterans Hospital on May 3.
Matsu reports SARS case
SARS has arrived on Matsu, the Center for Disease Control confirmed yesterday. A military officer surnamed Jan, who flew to Matsu on May 1, has been confirmed as a probable SARS case. The officer fell ill on May 2 and was hospitalized the next day. The 22 passengers and crew members on that flight have been under home quarantine since May 7. Local officials said on Saturday that they do not rule out sealing off the island from Taiwan if the SARS epidemic continues to escalate and encroach on Matsu.
SARS test-kits arrive
A total of 2,000 enzyme test kits for the SARS virus, provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have arrived, a medical-research source said yesterday. The 2,000 test kits of Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, better known as ELISA, will be used to evaluate reported SARS cases, to help determine whether patients have contracted SARS, said Dr. Su Yi-jen (蘇益仁), director of the Clinical Research Division under the National Health Research Institute (NHRI). The 2,000 kits -- which detect the antibody of the SARS-associated coronavirus -- can be used to examine and evaluate 1,000 people, as two doses are required per person to complete the test. The test kits arrived in Taipei late on Saturday. According to Su, the NHRI ordered the kits to help accelerate laboratory tests of the coronavirus after Taiwan's Center for Disease Control was unable to cope with demand.
■ Mother's day
Chen visits model moms
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) visited two model mothers yesterday to express his respect and admiration for their contribution to the nation as part of Mother's Day celebrations. Chen presented fresh bundles of carnations and other gifts to You Yueh-chu (游月珠), a model mother selected by military units, and Chung A-hsiu (鐘阿秀), a model mother chosen by the police. He also took advantage of the occasion to wish all mothers around the nation a happy Mother's Day. Accompanied by Minister of National Defense Tang Yao-ming (湯曜明) and Taipei County Magistrate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Chen arrived at You's Hsintien home early in the morning. As yesterday happened to be You's 68th birthday, Chen also wished her many happy returns. Later in the day, Chen traveled to a mountain village in Pinglin, Taipei County, to visit Chung, 62, in recognition of her voluntary services to local police officers.