Sat, Aug 23, 2003 - Page 2 News List

CDC health proposal asks Canadians to monitor their health

CNA , TAIPEI

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) under the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday it has come up with a plan to ask arrivals from Canada to undergo self-health management to prevent a recurrence of SARS.

The CDC made the remarks amid reports that cluster transmissions of a SARS-like disease have occurred at a nursing home in Vancouver. Although the UN has yet to confirm whether the outbreak is SARS-related, the new development has caused international concern.

CDC Deputy Director Shih Wen-yi (施文儀) said Taiwan must heighten its alert and adopt appropriate precautionary measures to ward off any possible import of SARS.

"We have presented a preventive-measures initiative to the DOH for approval," Shih said, adding that the date for implementing the measures will be decided within the next few days.

According to the CDC proposal, arrivals from Canada will be asked to take their own temperatures daily.

Should they fall ill during a specified period of time, they should go to a designated fever screening center to receive treatment.

At the moment, arrivals from China, Hong Kong and Macau have been subject to such requirements.

"We plan to impose similar requirements to arrivals from Canada as part of the drive to prevent SARS from returning to Taiwan," Shih said.

China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Toronto were gripped by SARS between March and June this year.

Health experts are concerned about a SARS relapse this winter.

Shih said local people intending to visit Canada in the near future should pay attention to their personal hygiene -- wash their hands frequently and avoid unnecessary visits to hospitals or public places during their stay in Canada.

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