Mon, Feb 23, 2004 - Page 5 News List

Hong Kong hotel is eliminating memories of SARS

911 One year after a Chinese doctor took SARS global by spreading the disease in a hotel, the room in which he stayed has been renumbered out of existence

DPA , HONG KONG

Only one man walking into the lobby restaurant was wearing a face mask, the ubiquitous symbol of last year's Hong Kong SARS outbreak.

A receptionist said: "The hotel is fully booked."

A concierge remarked: "We're bursting at the seams. If you want to book a room, you should call at least a week in advance."

One guest, retired Geraldine Pearse from Swansea in Wales, who was staying at the Metropole for four nights as part of a package tour, said: "I thought this was the SARS hotel at the time I booked it but I didn't want to ask when I got here."

"Anyway I'm a great believer that when your time's up, your time's up," Pearse said.

Even if I'd known for sure it wouldn't have stopped me staying here. It must have been very scary here at the time but Hong Kong has been clear of SARS for a long time now," Pearse said.

I'd be more worried about going to Bangkok because of bird flu right now," Pearse said.

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