Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, June 20, 2003

China's Largest SARS Hospital Discharges Last Patients

China's largest SARS designated hospital, the Beijing Xiaotangshan hospital, discharged its last 18 recovered SARS patients on Friday. Located on the city's outskirts, the hospital admitted 680 SARS patients during the 51 day-period beginning on April 30.


China's largest severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) designated hospital Friday discharged its last 18 recovered SARS patients.

Located on the outskirts of Beijing, the Xiaotangshan hospital admitted 680 SARS patients during the 51 day-period beginning on April 30.

During the period, the SARS compound treated altogether 680 patients aging from 13 to 79 years old. Grouped together from more than 60 hospitals from across Beijing, the patients accounted for one-tenth of the world's total SARS patients and one-seventh of the country's total.

Grouping the SARS patients in a suburban compound was considered critical in containing the spread of the virus in the city and lowering the death rate. Now with only eight deaths, the hospital claims the world's lowest fatality rate of 1.2 percent.

According to Zhou Xianzhi, vice-president of the hospital, a total of 680 patients, including 67 who were seriously ill, received medical treatment there. Of the total, 672, or 98.8 percent, have recovered. Six of the eight who succumbed to the disease were suffering from other illnesses in addition to SARS.

Zhou, who has been working for more than three months on the front line of the battle against SARS, attributed the high recovery rate to a comprehensive therapy consisting of effective medical treatment, psychotherapy and a combination of Chinese and western medicines.

The hospital also took pride in its stringent system of protective measures. None of its nearly 1,400 medical staff was infected. They will leave the compound later this month.

The closure of the SARS-dedicated treatment center in Beijing is a result of lower infection rates in the capital. Beijing has now just over 100 patients still hospitalized for the disease.

Beijing's SARS-affected hospitals resume normal operation
Most Beijing hospitals ravaged by SARS and weeks of suspended services have resumed normal operation, with use of both outpatient and emergency services seeing a dramatic rise, the municipal health authorities said Thursday.

Over 40 hospitals have gained approval to reopen, requiring thorough disinfection followed by a 48-hour period of isolation before the final endorsement by government disease control organizations.

At one of the largest hospitals in Beijing + the No. 1 Hospital of Beijing University in the city center, the number of people seeking medical services reached 4,000 on June 17, close to that of standard operation, a source with the hospital said.

The number rebounded to about 2,000 per day, or nearly half of the normal standard at the People's Hospital in northwestern Beijing, the most hard-hit hospital which had been closed [email protected] a month because of dozens of infections reported.

People for treatment at the People's Hospital will have their temperatures checked twice before they are allowed admission, and the newly installed air-conditioning system was the most advanced available, said hospital officials.

According to the city's health authorities, the majority of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) sufferers in Beijing had recovered and been discharged from the 16 SARS-designated hospitals.

With SARS cases waning further, the relevant authorities were thinking of relocating all SARS patients to the Ditan Hospital for concentrated, intensified treatment, said health officials.

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