China upbeat as virus appears to be on retreat


HONG KONG: China reported its lowest daily numbers of SARS cases since April in the latest sign that the virus is retreating in Asia, but Canadian health authorities were on high alert, investigating four recent deaths possibly caused by SARS. 

In Taiwan, officials handed out free thermometers in an island-wide “take-your-temperature'' campaign yesterday, amid signs containment efforts were also paying off. The number of daily infections remained in single digits for the third day in a row. 

The global death toll was at least 767 with more than 8,300 people sickened since the virus first appeared in southern China in November. Most of the victims have been in China and here. 

China yesterday reported no new SARS fatalities and two new cases on its mainland, the lowest figures for a single day since authorities began in April to report cases on a daily basis. The death toll remained at 332 out of 5,330 cases. 

In Hong Kong, the disease also seemed to be tapering off. 

China's minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine Li Changjiang said yesterday the country was now safe for foreigners, following a meeting with South-East Asian nations in which they developed a plan to keep SARS from spreading across borders. – AP/AFP 

  • Another perspective from The China Daily, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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