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2 more die as SARS continues spreading in H.K.

HONG KONG, April 8 Kyodo

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the mysterious deadly pneumonia spreading through Asia, has claimed two more lives in Hong Kong, where 45 new cases of the infection were reported Tuesday.

Two elderly men with other chronic diseases were the latest victims, bringing the death toll to 25, while the number of people infected by the highly contagious disease is now at 928, health authorities said.

So far, 138 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals, but the number of people being treated in intensive care units remains high at 116, they said.

SARS has now killed at least 100 people worldwide and infected more than 2,600. Hong Kong and neighboring mainland China's Guangdong Province, where the disease is believed to have originated, are the worst-hit areas.

Financial Secretary Antony Leung told lawmakers at a panel meeting Tuesday that the disease has hit Hong Kong's economy and that he hopes to announce recovery measures in the near future after the virus has been brought under control.

Meanwhile, health authorities in Guangdong Province said an American teacher and two Chinese-Canadians have contracted the disease in the province, according to Hong Kong media reports.

Huang Qingdao, director of the Guangdong Health Department, reportedly told a press conference in Guangzhou that the teacher in Shenzhen is still being treated but that the couple from Canada have recovered and left China.

Huang also said that the average number of new cases reported in the province every day has decreased. So far, there have been 1,206 infection cases in Guangdong Province, with 43 deaths.

The figures account for most of the 1,268 SARS cases and 53 deaths reported in mainland China as a whole as of Sunday.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Geographic Code:9HONG
Date:Apr 14, 2003
Words:290
Previous Article:Japanese fans pay last respects to H.K. star.
Next Article:LEAD: Global SARS fatality tops 100, infection 2,700: WHO.


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