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China Reports Lowest 1-Day Total of New SARS Cases - 2003-05-14


China has reported its lowest one-day total of new severe acute respiratory syndrome cases in weeks, while Taiwan and Singapore have had setbacks in their efforts to control the disease. Taiwan quarantined 110 medical workers at a major hospital on Wednesday in a bid to contain the first outbreak of SARS in the southern part of the island. Brian Purchia has the latest.

A World Health Organization official says he is encouraged by declining numbers of new SARS cases in China, but cautions it is too early to tell whether those numbers signal a downward trend.

China reported 5 new SARS fatalities Wednesday, raising the mainland death toll to 267.

In Singapore, 27 patients and nurses at a mental hospital have been isolated after possibly contracting SARS. Singapore had gone 15 days without a new infection - 5 days short of the WHO target for being taken off a list of SARS-affected regions. Singapore’s Health Minister Lim Hng Kiang.

SINGAPORE HEALTH MINISTER, LIM HNG KIANG SAYING
“We must take this seriously and must treat this like SARS case because a congregation of such a big number of patients and health care workers. We must be on our guard and we must take all the necessary actions.”

Meanwhile, researchers in Germany say an experimental drug for the common cold might also work against SARS. In a study appearing in the journal "Science," the researchers say they believe the experimental drug could be modified to fight SARS.

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