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China assures SARS-free environment for Vajpayee

June 18, 2003 16:44 IST

China on Wednesday assured India that the proposed visit by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Beijing is 'safe' as the Severe Acute Respiratory epidemic outbreak has been brought under effective control.

The General Director of the Beijing SARS Treatment Command Centre, Han Demin, said none of the Chinese cities reporting confirmed cases of the infectious disease for several days now.

The number of confirmed SARS patients in Beijing's SARS-only hospitals has shrunk to around 200 from 2,500 during the peak period in late April and May, he said.

Han also expressed confidence that the WHO would soon lift the unprecedented travel warning on Beijing city by the end of June.

Vajpayee, who will be visiting China from June 22 to 27, would be one of the first world leaders to visit the country in the aftermath of the SARS epidemic outbreak that has killed 799 people worldwide and 346 in mainland China alone.

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