Sun, May 25, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Taipei says SARS outbreak may still be in peak period


The SARS outbreak in Taipei may still be in the peak period, said Chiou Shu-ti (邱淑媞), director of Taipei City's Department of Health yesterday.

Chiou made the remarks in the wake of 52 SARS cases being reported Friday -- exactly one month after Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital was sealed off because of the outbreak of the disease within the hospital.

Chiou noted that of the 52 newly reported cases, two were imported from other countries, three are due to contacts with family members or friends who are suspected SARS cases, nine are linked with hospitals, while the remaining 38 have neither traveled abroad recently nor had contact with suspected cases.

She also said that of the 52 cases, 39 either dialed 119 or used their own vehicles to go to hospitals, while 33 called hospitals two days after coming down with SARS-like symptoms.

Chiou urged those who develop a fever or cough not to medicate themselves, not to use public transportation, not to go to school or work, not to go to public places and not to attend gatherings.

She also urged them to wear a surgical mask, call 119 or use their own cars to go to the hospital or a fever-screening center established by the Department of Health, as well as wash their hands frequently.

Meanwhile, as of yesterday, the Taipei City Government will no longer require that visitors entering City Hall wear a surgical mask, although they will still have to have their temperature taken.

The city government also recommends that visitors with a slight cough wear a surgical mask to protect themselves and others and avoid talking in elevators.

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