News and Views on Tibet

Official warns against Sars outbreak in Tibet

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Beijing, May 9 – Even as a senior Chinese official warned Tibet against a possible onslaught by the Sars epidemic, the first infra-red fever detector has been installed at the Gongga International Airport in Lhasa in an effort to contain the spread of the killer disease breaking out in the Himalayan region.

“The advent of warmer weather could make Tibet more susceptible to Sars virus because of its underdeveloped medical treatment facilities and other related factors,” the vice-minister of the state family planning commission, Zhao Bingli, who is currently supervising anti-Sars campaign in Tibet was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency last night.

As part of the anti-Sars effort, Gongga airport in Lhasa has installed infra-red body temperature scanners in a bid to prevent any possible Sars patients from entering Tibet, the report said.

This became necessary as neighbouring provinces of Tibet reported Sars cases, it said.

Zhao visited local transportation departments, epidemic prevention centres, clinic units and residential areas in Tibet yesterday.

“Thanks to the adoption of effective measures to stop the entry of the disease, Sars has not been reported from Tibet,” Zhao said before concluding his week-long inspection tour.

Concerned by the rapid spread of the contagious disease, China has so far sent five emergency medical teams to Tibet to step-up preventive measures in the region.

Till yesterday, tibet remained free from Sars, which has affected a majority of Chinese provinces, claiming over 220 lives and infecting thousands of others.

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