Preliminary findings of the WHO Shanghai team
A WHO team of six experts, in Shanghai since Monday, has provided a preliminary report of its findings. The team was invited by Shanghai authorities to assess the SARS situation in China’s second largest city.
Among its activities, the team examined the SARS surveillance and reporting system, investigated rumours that the case burden might be higher than officially reported, and visited 10 health facilities, 3 district Centres for Disease Control, and the municipal Centre for Disease Control. The team was given free access to all requested data, patient registries, and facilities, which were visited on very short notice.
The team found no evidence of systematic underreporting of cases, and concluded that the level of preparedness and response was good. Reporting of cases appeared to be open, frank, and accurate. Over the past 3? weeks, authorities designated two hospitals as dedicated to the treatment of SARS patients and set up cough and fever clinics. The team also found a very high level of government commitment to tackle the SARS problem.
Many questions remain about why Shanghai has been spared a SARS outbreak on the scale of that seen in Beijing. Had a larger number of cases occurred, it is not certain whether the systems presently in place would have been able to cope.
Source: WHO official website
SARS is a disaster for China. Fortunately, we can see some good effects of the disease anyway. Changes happen subtlely.
- People pay more attention to personal hygiene and quit bad habits. The fine has raised and the public are aware, so spitting and littering (two very bad habits with bad reputation worldwide) are much less. Washing hands and cleaning the living place become the new habits.
- Government efficiency is improved. More and more officials sacked for failure of prevention SARS. I just read about the director and other leaders of Changsha Disease Control and Prevention Center was fired. (Changsha is the capital city of central China’s Hunan province)
- Media become more transparent – more newspapers are critising the government which is very rare before. This brings value to provide feedback so lowlights have the opportunity to become highlights.
(some ideas comes from Changyu’s SARS website (Chinese site))
Paused Marriage Registration
Beijing has paused issuing any new marriage certificate to the public. Source: Beijing Government Official Website. This aim to reduce the wedding ceremony to be held in Beijing.
Quota for Beijing taxi lowered
The taxi business in China uses the model that the taxi driver will hand-in certain fixed amount of quota to the taxi company and the rest will be the income. Impacted by SARS, the quota is lowered by the taxi administration in Beijing. Source: Sohu.com
Taxi and buses labeled disinfection
Shanghai ordered all taxi, buses and metro trains to disinfect everyday and put the color “disinfected” label on the window. (Refer to my entry yesterday for order details) I applause for this action but doubted if it can implemented effectively. Today, to my great surprise, all the taxis and buses I have seen (about 40+ of them) are followed the order perfectly. This is very encouraging.
Saliven posted a group of pictures of lots of people wearing masks on April 26, 2003. Very nice done.
Beautiful girls wearing masks in the Shanghai Auto Expo.
Stores advertisement about the Anti-SARS medicines. There are some posters for SARS, street scene of April. Meanwhile, the book market at Wenmian was closed (the last picture).