The Voice of American reporter Yang Ming reported on April 23, 2003 -- SARS Strike's China's Economy and Threatens the World.

Along with the spread of SARS everywhere in China, some large-scale business activities had to be terminated half done. At the same time, people in impoverished areas that lack medicine lose their heads even more. This has lead to serious concerns in the international community. The analysts pointed out that once SARS had inflicted heavy losses on China's economy; the negative impact would also affect the whole Asian region even the globe.

The Automobile Expo in Shanghai Concluded Ahead of Schedule

Observers pointed out that despite the spread of SARS, Shanghai, which had claimed the discovery of SARS vaccine a while ago, insisted on staging the 10th Shanghai International Automobile Expo on April 21 on time. However, the expo, which was originally scheduled till April 27, had to be concluded within two days after the opening.

It was reported that at least one Chinese reporter who covered the Expo had been diagnosed with SARS. However, Shanghai authorities denied the report and said that the conclusion of the automobile expo ahead of schedule was to protect the expo personnel and patrons' safety.

Domino Effect - Economic Slowdown in China Affects the World

According to Chinese official reports, until April 23, 2003, there were at least 2,305 cases and 106 deaths related to SARS in China. SARS is the acronym for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which has been called "Atypical Pneumonia" in China all the time. On April 23, China's State Department established the SARS Prevention and Treatment Headquarters and set up 200 billion Yuan funding for SARS treatment. Dr. Henk Bekedam, a WHO representative in China, pointed out that the Chinese government should give more funding and send more medical staff to impoverished areas to help people there with SARS.

Some analysts pointed out that since the Domino Effect in the economic field caused by the cancellation of tours, the economy increasing-rate in China would decrease by half percent this year. What is more severe is that the decreasing of economy and consumer in China will have more related impact on the Asian economy which have been in trouble due to the economy slowing down in United States and SARS.

Michael Finger, an economist for the Development and Economic Research Department of WTO, pointed out that after the severe impact on the tourism, restaurant, retail, entertainment and airline industries during the initial stages of SARS outbreak, the following and an even more severe impact would appear in business and investment confidence. Finger also pointed out that the impact on the economic growth in China would cumber trading, which is one of the driving forces of economic development, thus affecting the economy in other areas worldwide.

Hong Kong - Another Severe Disaster Area

In Hong Kong, another severe disaster area of SARS, the number of cases has climbed to 1,458 with 105 deaths. The fear of SARS has struck Hong Kong's economy heavily. Tourism, the restaurant, retail and entertainment industries face the possibility of being totally ruined.

According to the newest report from the WHO, the number SARS patients globally has increased to about 4,300 people and caused 251 deaths. The city of Beijing and Shangxi Province in China and the city of Toronto in Canada have been listed as severe disaster areas. The WHO warned people that unless it was absolutely necessary, do not travel to these areas.

April 24, 2003