WHO Calls for Vigilance against Possible Return of SARS

The World Health Organization (WHO)on Saturday issued a call for vigilance against possible return of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), warning diseases like SARS remaining a threat to China and the rest of the world.

He also spoke highly of the efforts Chinese government and people have made in the struggle against SARS. "Once again I would like to thank and congratulate the Chinese government and the Party for their achievements in fighting against SARS," he said.

Addressing a gathering marking the discharge of the Beijing's last SARS patients and recovery of normal medical work in Beijing Ditan Hospital, Henk Bekedam, WHO representative in China, said the world must not drop guard for even one moment against diseases like SARS.

The hospital was designated as one of special hospitals for SARS patients during this summer's fight against the fatal virus.

"With the release of the last SARS patients in China, a very important chapter of the global fight against infectious diseases has been closed", he said. But "the fight against SARS is not yet over. We must remain vigilant as we do not know for certain whether SARS will return again".

He went on to say that the organization does not know what SARS or any new infectious diseases might have in store for us in the coming months and years.

"We can only be sure that more threats like SARS will come sometime in the future," he stressed.

The world still have very few scientific weapons to use in our fight against SARS, and there has been no scientific breakthrough,no medical miracle, which will make the world safe from SARS, said Bekedam.

The official said the world must continue to rush forward to prepare for the future.

People's Daily Online --- http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/