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China claims SARS under control

At first global meeting of SARS scientists, China claims its outbreak under control

Robert Walgate(walgate@scienceanalysed.com)

KUALA LUMPUR—At the WHO global conference on severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Kuala Lumpur today, China claimed that its SARS outbreak, which began in November 2002, is at last under control.

Gao Qiang, China's Vice Minister of Health, told delegates this morning that during the period June 1–16, China had "Five or fewer cases a day for four days, and zero for the other 12." The daily average had fallen from 150 at the start of May to 13 by the end of that month, claimed Gao.

James Mackenzie of the University of Queensland, a member of the first World Health Organization (WHO) team to go into Guandong in South China in March, told The Scientist "I think Gao tried to show he knew things a bit earlier than he did. But people who've gone to look are fairly convinced that what he's said is true. But they cut...

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