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Monday June 19, 2006

Singapore government compensates SARS victims

SINGAPORE (AP) - Singapore has awarded more than 600,000 Singapore dollars (US$375,624; euro298,590) to health workers who fell victim to severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, a newspaper reported Monday. 

Twenty-one nurses and hospital attendants who suffered permanent lung damage from the flu-like virus, as well as the families of two other health workers who died from the disease, will receive a total of 662,300 Singapore dollars (US$414,520; euro329,475) in compensation, The Straits Times said. 

Singapore law says employees who perform manual work or who earn 1,600 Singapore dollars (US$1,001; euro796) or less a month are entitled to compensation if they contract a disease while at work, the report said. 

The ministry received claims from 186 people, it said. 

One other case is being considered pending the results of medical tests. 

More than 8,000 people were infected with SARS worldwide in 2003, of which 774 people died. In Singapore, 33 people died and 238 others were infected. 

The World Health Organization declared the city-state free of the disease in May 2003.

For another perspective from The Straits Times, a partner of Asia News Network, click here.

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