Since SARS was first reported in the Taiwan Island on March 15, 2003, the Government of the People's Republic of China has paid close attention to its development.
Premier Wen Jiabao has instructed personally that information exchange on SARS prevention and control across the Taiwan Strait should be enhanced, and the Mainland should support and care the health and well-being of the Taiwan compatriots through concrete measures.
Though no such request has been made to the Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China by the Taiwan authorities, the relevant departments of the Mainland have actively promoted the exchange of information and experience on SARS through non-governmental channels, which have achieved noticeable results.
1. Information Transfer
In order to provide the Taiwan people with quick access to the SARS information in the Mainland, we update the latest epidemic information, case definition, knowledge of prevention and treatment schemes on a daily basis on the web sites of the Ministry of Health and the Chinese CDC.
In addition, social and health organizations of the Mainland also send such information to the relevant organizations and experts in Taiwan area.
The Chinese Medical Association, the Chinese Association of Preventive Medicine and the Chinese Association of Hospital Management have done a great deal of work on this regard.
2. Exchange of Experts
Apart from information exchange, experts from Taiwan are also welcome to the Mainland to work with their counterparts in combating the disease.
During April 8 -14, 2003, Dr. He Meixiang, the representative of the Taipei Medical Association visited the Mainland.
She visited the Chinese CDC and other medical, public health and research institutions in Beijing and Guangdong.
During the visits, she had discussions with the experts in the Mainland and both sides exchanged experience on the prevention and control of SARS.
The Mainland has also organized a SARS expert team to work in Taiwan. If Taiwan authority or medical society has such requests, the expert team can go to Taiwan immediately to work together with Taiwan experts.
3. Organizing Cross-Strait Scientific Meeting
During April 23-24, 2003, "Cross-Strait Seminar on SARS Prevention and Treatment" was jointly sponsored and organized by the Chinese Medical Association, the Association of Preventative Medicine and the Chinese Association of Hospital Management.
A total of forty-five experts in the fields of preventive medicine, virology, respiratory medicine and infectious medicine from the Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao attended the meeting.
The delegates reported the situation of SARS in their respective regions and measures that have been taken. Topics, such as prevention and control, diagnoses and treatment, epidemiological and etiological studies, were discussed in the meeting.
Dr. Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative in China, attended the seminar, and his deputy gave a presentation on the Global SARS Situation and Response.
On May 9, 2003, a teleconference "the Cross- Strait Seminar on SARS Prevention and Control", jointly sponsored by the Chinese Association of Hospital Management and the Taiwan Medical Alliance Association, was held in Beijing, Guangdong, and Taipei.
Leading experts across the Strait participated in the meeting and discussed technical details on SARS prevention and treatment. Among the participants, about twenty were from Taiwan.
4. Supplying Latest Diagnostic Reagents
On May 1, 2003, as requested by the Taiwan Association of Preventive Medicine, the Chinese CDC donated the self-made SARS diagnostic reagent knits to Taiwan to be used on a trial basis.
5. Ensuring Timely Treatment for Taiwan People in the Mainland
Since the outbreak of SARS, all provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in the Mainland have designated hospitals with better medical service and facilities to treat foreigners and compatriots from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao.
The list of these designated hospitals has been published on Internet to ensure that Taiwan compatriots in the Mainland can get good and timely medical services.
Taiwan is part of China. The two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China.
The central Government, at each and every moment, pays close attention to SARS development within the Taiwan Island and the health and wellbeing of the 20 million Taiwan people.
The central Government will continue to facilitate the cooperation and exchange on SARS between the both sides.
We appeal to the medical experts of the both sides across the Strait to join hands, establish a communication and exchange mechanism so as to win the war against SARS and make contributions to the health of the Chinese people.