Sat, Mar 27, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Health

SARS pioneer book debuts

The top coordinator in the nation's campaign against SARS, Lee Ming-liang (李明亮), on Thursday presided over a ceremony at Rome's Capital Museum marking the launch of the Italian-language biography of Carlo Urbani, who was the first person to identify the SARS virus. Urbani, an expert on communicable diseases at the World Health Organization, died of the flu-like atypical pneumonia in Bangkok on March 29 last year. He was 47. The book, authored by Italian prize-winning writer Lucia Bellaspiga, gives a detailed and human account of how Urbani contributed his professional expertise to SARS identification and treatment in Asia and how he fought against the deadly virus during the crucial days prior to his death. Lee, chairman of the Carlo Urbani Memorial Foundation established in Taiwan last July, said the Chinese-language version of the biography is expected to be published in this country shortly. Addressing the biography debut ceremony, held at Rome's Capital Museum, Lee said that the book will provide a great inspiration to the younger generations around the world and that the Chinese-language version will let the vast population in the Chinese-language speaking communities learn about Urbani's spirit and teaching.

■ Society

BTCO issues warning

The British Trade and Cultural Office has issued a warning for British citizens to be aware of events here after last Saturday's presidential election. "Our advice to British residents is to avoid large public gatherings, in particular political rallies and demonstrations and observe developments in the local media," the office said in a statement. "We will continue to monitor the situation closely," said the statement. The statement was issued on the eve of a pan-blue camp rally that organizers say will attract 500,000 people today to Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office.

■ Health

Dengue system activated

The Department of Health (DOH) announced yesterday that the nation's dengue fever prevention mechanism has been activated amid outbreaks of the disease in Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. Under the mechanism, DOH officials said, arrivals from Southeast Asia who have developed a fever will undergo blood tests and be presented with free mosquito nets for use at home for a week. Dengue fever is a mosquito-transmitted disease. Yesterday, the DOH also invited officials from the Tourism Bureau, the Civil Aeronautics Administration, the Immigration Bureau, the Council of Labor Affairs, the Environmental Protection Bureau, health bureaus from 25 cities and counties around the country and major travel associations to discuss dengue fever-prevention measures. It was decided at the meeting that films featuring dengue fever prevention and control measures will be shown on all flights from and to Southeast Asian countries. At least 455 people have died from dengue fever in Indonesia so far this year, DOH officials said. According to the officials, Taiwan has not had a locally originated dengue fever case so far this year, but has tallied 17 imported cases, including seven from Indonesia, six from Vietnam, two from the Philippines, one each from Thailand and India.

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