|SARS cases surge in Asia
Kuala Lumpur, march 28, IRNA -- Mysterious flu-like disease is
spreading by "leaps and bounds" around the world with Singapore
shutting all schools and Hong Kong considering an emergency
The epidemic bumped the Iraq war off the front pages as the top
newspaper story in Singapore.
As of Friday, the number of people infected with Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) jumped to 1,323 in more than a dozen
countries, double the figure last week.
The global death toll from SARS soared to 53 after China belatedly
disclosed casualty figures.
Malaysia has been commended by the World Health Organisation
(WHO) for its swift plan of action in checking the occurrence of
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Health Minister Chua Jui Meng confirmed that there were two SARS
cases in the country so far and both of them are working in Singapore.
More than 50 cases had been reported in neighbouring Singapore.
In a letter addressed to the Ministry's deputy director-general
of health, acting WHO representative Joel A. Vanderburg said the
organisation "greatly appreciates" preparation made by the ministry to
inform and educate the public, the aviation industry and healthcare
professionals to safeguard public health.
From Guangdong, the disease crept to nearby Hong Kong, from
where travelers transported the virus all the way to North America and
Besides Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore have been most affected
but cases have been seen or suspected in Taiwan, Thailand, France,
Germany, Italy, Canada, the United States and elsewhere.
The disease has claimed 10 lives in Hong Kong, four in Vietnam,
three in Beijing, two in Singapore and three in Canada.