Friday, May 30, 2003
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While agents in southern China were seizing foxes, snakes and other game in a new ban on the wildlife trade that followed evidence of the virus jumping from wild animals to humans, neighbouring Hong Kong considered outlawing the marketplace slaughter of chickens.
Wildlife dealers fretted about the traditional Chinese market for exotic species as culinary delicacies. ``Every snake shop will be put out of business,'' Ho Cheuk-hing said in an interview on Thursday from his Hong Kong shop She Wong Lam, or ``Snake King.''
Taiwan on Thursday reported 50 new cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome, its biggest rise in six days. Officials insist that Taiwan's outbreak is declining, and said on Thursday's jump included 40 patients who earlier tested negative and were later reclassified as confirmed.
The increase came even as the World Health Organisation said Taiwan was making ``important strides'' in controlling its SARS crisis which came to a head later on the island than in other affected Asian countries. WHO cited Taiwan's new screening programmes and fever clinics.
The global death toll on Thursday from SARS was at least 750.
In Canada, which has suffered the worst outbreak outside of Asia, officials closed a suburban Toronto high school and sent its 1,700 students into quarantine, fearing they may have been exposed to the disease after one student displayed SARS symptoms, which include fever, aches, shortness of breath and coughing.
The city now has more than 5,000 people who have been told to stay home amid a renewed outbreak. A new cluster of cases, linked to hospitals, emerged during the past week after the city thought it had brought its outbreak of March and April under control. AP
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