At least 159 people kept in isolation at two Beijing hospitals after coming in contact with a SARS patient were released on Thursday, officials said.
At least 159 people kept in isolation at two Beijing hospitals after coming in contact with a SARS patient were released on Thursday, officials said. But hundreds of others remain in quarantine. The SARS patient, a 20-year-old nurse identified only as Li, was released on Tuesday after spending nearly a month in hospital. “The quarantine was removed early this morning. People can move in and out of the hospital freely now,” an official at Jiangong Hospital told Reuters by telephone. The groups, placed under observation at Jiangong Hospital and People’s Hospital in the capital, had been in isolation for about two weeks, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Li fell ill on April 5 showing symptoms of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome such as fever and a cough. She was confirmed as having the virus on April 22. The Health Ministry said on Tuesday it had confirmed three more suspected cases of SARS in Beijing, taking the total number of victims in the latest outbreak to nine. One of the nine has died. Health officials have said hundreds of people have been placed in quarantine in the past few weeks. Nearly 800 people died of the potentially fatal illness worldwide after SARS emerged in southern China in late 2002. (Source: Reuters Health News, May 2004)