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Beijing's SARS Attack
Time ^ | Susan Jakes

Posted on 04/08/2003 11:00:59 AM PDT by Nov3

Beijing's SARS Attack
Doctor and party member insists there are many more cases than officials will admit  
BY


GUANG NIU/REUTERS
A facemask-wearing couple pass a billboard in Beijing. How many cases are unreported?


SARS: Battling the Bug
Graphic: How the Virus Spreads


Tuesday, April 8, 2003

A physician at Beijing's Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital (No. 301) in a signed statement provided to TIME, says that at one Beijing hospital alone, 60 SARS patients have been admitted of whom seven have died. That indicates the number of patients infected with SARS in Beijing may be significantly higher than those totals made public by China's Ministry of Health. Last Thursday Chinese Minister of Health Zhang Wenkang announced to the press that China's capital had seen just 12 cases of SARS of whom three had died. Today's edition of the official China Daily put the number of SARS infections in Beijing at 19 with four dead.

The doctor, Jiang Yanyong, 72, told TIME today he wrote the statement because he feels that "a failure to disclose accurate statistics about the illness will only lead to more deaths." Jiang says medical staff in Beijing's military hospitals were briefed about the dangers of SARS at the beginning of the National People's Congress in early March, but told not to publicize what they'd learned lest it interfere with the annual meeting of China's rubber-stamp legislative body. This has been confirmed by another physician at a Beijing-area hospital.

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MORE STORIES
 More China Cases than First Claimed
 How Far Can It Spread?
 Doing Battle with the Bug
 The Politics of Disease
 Viewpoint: More to Come?
 Living in a Hot Zone
 Making Sense of SARS

GRAPHICS
How the Virus Spreads


How a Coronavirus Works


How to Protect Yourself


After watching Zhang Wenkang's televised press statement last week, Jiang says he spoke to doctors and nurses at three Beijing military hospitals who expressed surprise and anger at the Minister's statement. As of today, Jiang says doctors at Beijing's No. 309 PLA Hospital told him they are treating 60 SARS patients and that seven patients have died of SARS. A duty officer at the No. 309 hospital reached for comment tonight said he "wasn't clear about this matter" and refused to provide information about SARS patients at the hospital.

The following are translated excerpts of Jiang's statement:

"On April 3rd, China's Minister of Health announced to the press that the Chinese government was already diligently dealing with the problem of SARS, and that the spread of the disease was already under control. He said that Beijing had 12 SARS cases and that three had died of the disease. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The next day when I went to the hospital all the doctors and nurses who had seen Zhang's statement were furious. As a doctor who cares about people's lives and health, I have a responsibility to aid international and local efforts to prevent the spread of SARS.

This is what I learned from my colleagues:

Around the time of the convening of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Beijing's No. 301 Hospital admitted an old man. At the time he was very ill and thought to be possibly suffering from SARS. He was therefore sent to Beijing's No. 302 Hospital (an infectious diseases hospital) for treatment. At that time the doctors at No. 302 Hospital didn't have experience with the disease. In the process of treating him 10 doctors and nurses were infected with SARS. The old man was very sick and died two days after entering the hospital. His wife was admitted soon afterward and also died. Only at this time did officials from the Ministry of Health call a meeting of hospital leaders to inform them that Beijing now had cases of this disease, but that in order to ensure stability as the nation's two annual legislative assemblies got underway, hospital officials were forbidden to publicize what they'd learned about SARS.

That day after watching the Minister's statement, I telephoned colleagues at the No. 309 People's Liberation Army hospital. They had also seen the news and said that Zhang's statement was outrageous. As of yesterday their hospital (which the PLA general logistics department had designated its main hospital for SARS) had already admitted 60 SARS patients of whom 7 had died. Because No. 309 is already full to capacity the PLA general logistics department has again asked the No. 302 PLA Hospital to admit more patients. On April 6th the No. 302 PLA Hospital admitted five severely ill patients from the People's Armed Police."


TOPICS: Breaking News; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: amoygardens; jiangyanyong; reporting; sars; sarschina
12 official cases in Bejing. Yet really 60 at ONE hospital in Bejing not including the transfers! The Chinese are lying through their teeth. I wonder how many cases their really are in China.

I am glad the war is going on. This story would be whipped into a frenzy.

1 posted on 04/08/2003 11:00:59 AM PDT by Nov3
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2 posted on 04/08/2003 11:03:04 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Nov3
It should be whipped into a frenzy. The Chinese are clearly hiding a major health disaster, one that threatens to embarass and discredit them once the truth becomes known. Their feeble health care infrastructure can't possibly be up to the task of dealing with this disease on their own, and thier own pride prohibits them for asking for help. Were it not a threat to their economic stability, they'd likely just let their people die off.
3 posted on 04/08/2003 11:08:14 AM PDT by Steel Wolf (Like water in a bucket.... calm but deadly...)
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To: Nov3
New SARS Outbreak Sparks 'Typhoid Mary' Fears
4 posted on 04/08/2003 11:10:42 AM PDT by blam
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To: Steel Wolf
.........threatens to embarass and discredit them.......

NO! Say it ain't so!

I thought state-run health-systems were supposed to be the most desirable form of healthcare in the world.

Hillary said so!

5 posted on 04/08/2003 11:13:32 AM PDT by DoctorMichael (FReepers.....An army to be reckoned with.)
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To: Steel Wolf
It should be whipped into a frenzy.

I don't want to see the economy hurt even further by this. That being said I bet thousands if not 10's of thousands have died in China.

6 posted on 04/08/2003 11:14:11 AM PDT by Nov3
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To: Nov3
Our economy could take a little damage off of this. The Chinese could see the bulk of their foriegn investment dry up and vanish, setting their economic development back decades. Not only the disease itself, but the fact that the Chinese leadership would be so ineptly bold as to even try to hide it will scare off investors left and right. They've got no one to blame but themselves on this.
7 posted on 04/08/2003 11:19:31 AM PDT by Steel Wolf (Like water in a bucket.... calm but deadly...)
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To: Nov3
There's a lot. My friend is from Beijing and her parents still live near Beijing University. I was with her last week when she called them to see if they were ok. They told her that four people living near them had come down with it and they had been given preventative medication.
8 posted on 04/08/2003 11:20:13 AM PDT by twigs
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To: Steel Wolf
You nailed it. The true face of Red Chinese Communism is on display for the whole world to see.
9 posted on 04/08/2003 11:27:33 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Mother Abigail
Ping
10 posted on 04/08/2003 11:27:33 AM PDT by AAABEST
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To: twigs
They told her that four people living near them had come down with it and they had been given preventative medication.

There is no preventative medication. This is simply being done to keep people calm.

11 posted on 04/08/2003 11:43:00 AM PDT by EternalHope (Chirac is funny, France is a joke.)
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To: Steel Wolf
I'm still wondering if they are hiding something very very bad like they know exactly what it is and how it came to be.
12 posted on 04/08/2003 11:48:12 AM PDT by mtbopfuyn
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To: Nov3
Beijing has SARS now? This would be trouble for the high-profile Olympics and a lot of other ordinary things.
13 posted on 04/08/2003 11:51:23 AM PDT by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts)
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To: mtbopfuyn
I think it is a lot more likely that this is a case of incompetence and carelessness rather than one of conspiracy.
14 posted on 04/08/2003 12:01:30 PM PDT by Steel Wolf (Like water in a bucket.... calm but deadly...)
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To: RightWhale
This would be trouble for the high-profile Olympics and a lot of other ordinary things.

I forgot about the Olympics.

15 posted on 04/08/2003 12:26:25 PM PDT by Nov3
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To: EternalHope
There is no preventative medication.

That's interesting.

16 posted on 04/08/2003 12:52:28 PM PDT by twigs
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To: Nov3
Olympics is the major reason Beijing has been wearing the happy face lately. They're putting Taiwan talk and other belligerent talk on the back burner, learning foreign cultures and languages, trying to become relevant in outer space exploration, moderninzing the toilets, all kinds of stuff. Olympics is a big part of the reason.
17 posted on 04/08/2003 1:09:00 PM PDT by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts)
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To: Nov3
This has the potential to be Red China's Chernobyl.
18 posted on 04/08/2003 1:13:52 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: twigs
Maybe you could ask your friend what preventative medicine was given to her parents.

There's plenty about this problem we don't know about yet.
19 posted on 04/08/2003 4:56:15 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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To: blam
On a different note, since I saw you on this thread, I was reading an article in Discover that I thought you would be interested in. You might want to pick up a copy of the May issue and check out:

Ancient America's Culture of War

They only have the first paragraph or two posted but I thought it was a very interesting read.

20 posted on 04/08/2003 6:17:52 PM PDT by Sawdring
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To: Sawdring
"You might want to pick up a copy of the May issue and check out:"

Thanks, I've already read it. Pretty good article.

21 posted on 04/08/2003 6:23:25 PM PDT by blam
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To: Steel Wolf
I think it has to do with a little bit of experimentation in biological warfare.

Actually, the rise in statistics is so eerily like that of AIDS when it first started, it' frightening. No known cause.... no known cure.
22 posted on 04/08/2003 6:37:47 PM PDT by bart99
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To: mtbopfuyn
I'm still wondering if they are hiding something very very bad like they know exactly what it is and how it came to be.

You mean the possibility that China was doing biological warfare research with a virus that is closely related to the infamous Spanish flu virus that killed 20 million people in 1918 and the virus accidently got out into the open?

23 posted on 04/08/2003 6:52:40 PM PDT by RayChuang88
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: seamole
Your# 24.....If SARS spreads through hotels and apartments and offices, what's to say it doesn't spread through exports?

Very Interesting

:-(

25 posted on 04/08/2003 7:36:47 PM PDT by maestro
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To: maestro
I wondered that too, if the virus would be dormant on exports...
26 posted on 04/08/2003 7:41:36 PM PDT by Judith Anne (God bless our soldiers with swift victory...)
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To: Judith Anne
I wondered that too, if the virus would be dormant on exports...

Right!!...........among others,....Medical Exports?

:-(

27 posted on 04/08/2003 7:48:46 PM PDT by maestro
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To: maestro
YIKES! I was thinking WalMart...I forgot how many syringes, tubing, gloves, etc are Made in China!

Oh, rats....new nightmare....
28 posted on 04/08/2003 7:59:25 PM PDT by Judith Anne (God bless our soldiers with swift victory...)
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To: Judith Anne
Not to mention,......live pets in pet stores,...etc.

Not to panic though,.......why panic when you can pray!

(1st Corinthians 2:5

'Judith Anne' is a beautiful name.

29 posted on 04/08/2003 8:21:39 PM PDT by maestro
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To: twigs
There is no preventative medication. That's interesting.

What about anti-serum for now? 97% of the infected recover on their own. If types can be matched, this should act as a preventative measure until a vaccine (which will be based on this) is available. Or have I missed something about SARS that makes anti-serum a non-option?

30 posted on 04/08/2003 8:26:04 PM PDT by Zebra
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To: Zebra
Your#30

There is no preventative medication. That's interesting.

What about anti-serum for now? 97% of the infected recover on their own. If types can be matched, this should act as a preventative measure until a vaccine (which will be based on this) is available. Or have I missed something about SARS that makes anti-serum a non-option?

Check 'FR' archives on 'SARS'.

31 posted on 04/08/2003 8:35:24 PM PDT by maestro
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