SOLOMONS LAWMAKER URGES HONG KONG TRAVEL BAN

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, Mar. 18) - The Opposition has called for a travel ban between Hong Kong and Solomon Islands, following an outbreak of a deadly virus which has claimed nine lives in recent weeks.

Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs and East Kwaio Member of Parliament Alfred Sasako, made the call today, saying the outbreak of the severe respiratory syndrome has baffled medical experts around the world.

Sasako noted that the outbreak caused the World Health Organizationto issue a worldwide health alert to travelers who have been to South East Asia in recent weeks, particularly Hong Kong and parts of Mainland China.

He stresses that given Solomon Islands sorry state of affairs in terms of the country's hospital system, the country can never be able to adequately cope with an outbreak of this disease.

Sasako says it is not because of the inability of Solomon Islands doctors, but rather the country's facilities and availability of drugs to treat victims.

He explains that most importantly, even right now doctors are still trying to identify the strain of virus causing this severe form of pneumonia so that appropriate treatment can be applied.

March 19, 2003

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation: http://www.sibconline.com.sb 

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