Russia's Chief Sanitary Physician to Inform Parliament about SARS Situation

Russia's chief sanitary physician Gennady Onishchenko on Tuesday was invited to a meeting of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, to inform the senators about the spread of SARS in Russia and in other countries of the world, said Viktor Shudegov, Federation Council member and chairman of the committee for public health, education and culture.

The senators, he said, want Onishchenko to give them all statistics on SARS incidence and the mortality rate caused by the disease.

Besides, the senators are going to discuss with Onishchenko actions to be taken "to localize individual cases" of possible infection with SARS in Russia.

"We want to hear from Onishchenko recommendations which we could circulate in the subjects of the Russian Federation through public health bodies to prevent SARS spread in Russia," Shudegov said.

He said also that he supported the measures proposed by Onishchenko, who said that trips of Chinese to Russia and of Russians to China should be limited. These are absolutely correct measures, for it is better to be overcautious and play safe than to underestimate the danger," the senator said.

Shudegov said also that the planned visit by a Federation Council delegation to China, slated for June, has been postponed because of SARS.

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