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China Creates SARS Task Force, Special Fund

2003/04/24

On April 23, the State Council of China decided to create a national task force, known as the SARS Control and Prevention Headquarters of the State Council, to combat SARS, and a national fund of two billion yuan (US$243 million) for prevention and control of the disease.

The moves were taken by the State Council at its executive meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao. Vice Premier Wu Yi was appointed as commander-in-chief, and Hua Jianmin, State Councilor and secretary general of the State Council, as deputy commander-in-chief.

The fund will be used to finance the treatment of farmers and poor urban residents infected with SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and to upgrade county-level hospitals and purchase SARS-related medical facilities in central and western China, and for research programs on the virus.

To upgrade disease control institutions in the central and western regions, the Chinese government will allocate another 900 million yuan (US$109 million).

The central government also allocated 600 million yuan (7US$3 million) for the initial phase of the China Center of Disease Control and Prevention.

The government stressed the significance of SARS control in areas like Beijing and rural areas.

It urged localities and government departments at all levels to curb the spread of the epidemic and ensure supplies of pharmaceutical products and control their prices.




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