New Guandong SARS case?

It looks that way.

BEIJING – Another suspected case of SARS emerged in southern China on Sunday as international medical investigators scoured an apartment block to determine if it played any role in the infection of a man who lived there — the season’s only confirmed case of the virus so far.

Dr. Thomas Tsang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Department of Health, told reporters that his agency received word of the latest suspected case from officials in Guangdong province, which abuts Hong Kong. Tsang said the 35-year-old patient has been isolated and hospitalized.

No further information was available, and a woman who answered the phone at the Guangdong SARS Prevention Office said she had no new reports of suspected cases. She gave only her surname, Zhou

Why do all local party officials do this — lie, deny, and refuse to give their name? We all know the drill by now. Tomorrow they’ll acknowledge it and offer more information. Why does it always have to be like pulling teeth?

The Discussion: 4 Comments


Hey man, this happens all the time … it’s not just about denying SARS cases. Just today I went to help a friend pay for his broadband and they did as little as possible. Service has gotten better, but it really is sorely lacking.

It’s comical that journalists call these people up and expect a response. They obviously haven’t spent much time in China to know that they won’t want to help much in the first place.

January 11, 2004 @ 8:31 pm | Comment

You’ll be, perhaps, pleased to know that the U.S. is learning from these excellent examples. I heard a story on the radio recently where a reporter from a newspaper in Ohio said the city was no longer confirming if there were fires, because if there *were* a fire someone might be injured and if there were a fire and someone were to be injured they would probably be taken to a hospital and if there were a fire and someone were to be injured and they were taken to a hospital, then it would be illegal to release medical information without their permission under the new Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). You can read it about here:

Needless to say, this doesn’t make what goes in China any less stupid or less wrong.

January 11, 2004 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

Adam, I know what you mean, but they wouldn’t be doing their jobs as journalists if they didn’t call the government authorities. The funny thing here is the pattern of a government bureaucrat totally denying knowledge of something everybody else knows and then refusing to giver her/his name. This exact same thing happened afer Ma Shiwen got arrested a few months ago, to the letter. And eventually, after pulling teeth and when the government has no choice but to answer because the truth is out anyway, the journalists will indeed get a formal answer and a full name — but only after going through this comical dance at the beginning. So strange, and so predictable.

January 11, 2004 @ 9:41 pm | Comment

So funny to see that indeed the exact same scenario took place, with the Guandong health official finally confirming the news yesterday and giving a full name.

January 14, 2004 @ 12:01 pm | Comment

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