Wed, May 28, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Defense ministry lifts ban on leave for the military

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday lifted the two-week-old ban on service members taking leave.

"We hereby announce the lift of the ban because the spread of SARS is now under control and our concerns that SARS may spread quickly in the military do not exist any more," said ministry Spokesman Major General Huang Sui-sheng (黃穗生) at a press conference yesterday.

Due to fears of a rapid SARS outbreak in the military, the ministry announced the ban on servicemen's leave two weeks ago. But the ban did not apply to those who worked in the higher echelons of command such as service headquarters or the ministry's offices.

According to ministry's announcement yesterday, military personnel are still required to have their body temperatures checked and recorded at least four times a days. In addition, they have to report to their superior officers every day on their whereabouts and give their officers the records of their temperatures.

Also at the press conference yesterday, President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), was another focus of discussion. The younger Chen has been a center of controversy because he was still able to take leave even while his fellow servicemen and women were forbidden to do so.

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