Dispatch of Japan Disaster Relief Expert Team to China to Cope with Spreading of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

May 9, 2003

  1. On May 9 (Fri), the Government of Japan decided to dispatch from May 11 to 16 a Japan Disaster Relief Expert Team (two doctors of the International Medical Center of Japan, one official each of the Foreign Ministry and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency)) to China to give advice and instruction on the symptomatic treatment and infection control of SARS, as the epidemic is spreading widely in the country.

  2. Since last November when the first case of SARS was found in Guangdong Province of China, SARS has been spreading from Guangdong Province to Shanxi Province, Beijing City and the Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia. As of May 8, there were 4,698 reported SARS cases and 224 deaths all over the country. The situation is very serious because about 100 people are becoming infected every day, mainly in Beijing.

  3. Though the Government of China has been making full-scale efforts to prevent SARS from spreading, even after Japan's decision to provide medical equipment and other supplies, the number of SARS cases has been increasing and effective measures have not been taken owing to, for example, a lack of basic knowledge of infectious diseases. The Government of China has therefore requested Japan to dispatch an expert team.

  4. Japan expects that the dispatch of the Japan Disaster Relief Expert team will contribute to checking the spread of SARS in China as early as possible and also protect the health of Japanese people, including many of those who are resident in China.

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