The SARS Epidemic Has Unsettled the World

According to Asia news broadcasting station on April 9, the SARS epidemic has the whole world worried. Twenty-seven hundred people have been infected and more than one hundred people have died. On Wednesday, Romania's president, Presedintele Romaniei Dl. Ion Iliescu, made a decision to postpone his visit to China. On the same day, New Zealand's embassy in Beijing also closed its visa section. The Malaysian embassy in China stopped issuing visas to tourists. The Philippine government warned its citizens not to visit Hong Kong and Guangdong province in China. Taiwan's travel agents have across-the-board cancelled their travel itineraries to China and Northeast Asia. The international conference on intellectual property rights scheduled for April 24th in Beijing has been cancelled. According to a statement by officials at the Beijing international airport, the number of passengers estimated for the first week of May, will be 10 percent less than the same period last year. This does not take into account the wholesale cancellation by the Taiwan tour groups.

According to Radio Free Asia News on April 8, the number of people infected with SARS in China has increased to 1,279, and the death toll to 53. On Tuesday in Hong Kong, two more deaths attributed to SARS were confirmed; this increases the total number of deaths to 25. Also on Tuesday, the American volleyball association announced the cancellation of their invitation to China's female youth volleyball team for their tournament in the USA.