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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 15) - Hong Kong,
nine more people have died after contracting the Severe Acute Respiratory
Syndrome virus, bringing Hong Kong's SARS death toll to 56.

In the worst day on the territory since the epidemic began six
weeks ago, health authorities reported 42 new cases of the illness.

Tour groups from China's largest city, Shanghai, have been
banned from traveling to Hong Kong because of the SARS outbreak of Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome.

Meanwhile, China's President, Hu Jintao, has inspected frontline
efforts to control the country's outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Our China Correspondent, John Taylor, says state media has
reported the president yesterday inspected a disease control centre in Guangdong,
the nation's worst hit province.

He said authorities would employ every means possible to cure
SARS patients as soon as possible and to prevent the further spread or
resurgence of the epidemic.

In recent days China's top leaders have shown great public
concern about SARS, a turnaround from the country's secretive handling of the
outbreak earlier this year.

China remains the worst affected country in the world, with
1,424 cases and 64 deaths on the mainland.

April 16, 2003

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