Russia's Chief Sanitary Officer Suggests Banning Trips to China Because of SARS Cases - 10 April, 2003 - News

Russia's chief sanitary officer Gennady Onishchenko has proposed a ban on heads of companies and, above all, of tourist firms sending people on business and tourist trips to China because of numerous cases of atypical pneumonia, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The reference is, above all, to such Chinese provinces and cities and Kwangtung, Shansi, Beijing, Szechuan, Hunan, Kwangsi, and Hong Kong.

This suggestion, as RIA Novosti was told in the press-service of the State Sanitary Service, is contained in a letter from Onishchenko to the Russian regions, "On Additional Counter-Epidemic Measures" relating to non-admission and spread of SARS across Russia.

Heads of sanitary and health centres are enjoined to "tighten up" sanitary and epidemiological supervision over existing flea and food markets, and move quickly to identify among ones working in the markets those suspected of having SARS.