Scientists from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong hope to have results of animal testing of a potential severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) vaccine in six months.
The scientists, working on a joint project to develop vaccines for the deadly virus, have isolated an activated strain of SARS coronavirus through filtration.
The strain is ready for animal testing and results could be available in six months, researchers said.
The testing represents a new breakthrough in SARS control following the investigation of the source of the virus.
The Chinese mainland reported nine new SARS cases and four new deaths, all of them in Beijing, between 10:00 a.m. May 26 and 10:00 a.m. May 27, the Ministry of Health said Tuesday in a daily report.
High school and elementary school students in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province, resume classes on May 26.
In Beijing, more restaurants have reopened as the number of new SARS cases reported continues to drop.
Local governments across China are still on intensive alert against possible recurrence of the epidemic outbreak.
On Monday, the Forestry Bureau of south China's Guangdong Province issued an emergency notice to tighten its control on the breeding, domestication and utilization of wildlife.
In Shanghai, the government has ordered tight supervision and control over the trade of civet cats and other wild animals.
In north China's Hebei, a province seriously hit by the epidemic, special quarantined classrooms will be arranged during the upcoming college entrance examination.
Facing such a serious challenge, the Chinese government is striving to win the war against SARS while also pursuing economic development and reform, emphasized in an article carried in China's leading newspaper, the People's Daily, on Tuesday.
The impact of SARS on China's economic growth has become the focus of the media, and the service sector, especially tourism and transportation, has been badly affected.
Zhong Nanshan, a famous medical expert and leader of the expert team for SARS control in south China's Guangdong province, offered doctors in Taiwan three methods proven to be effective in saving patients seriously infected by SARS.