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China Reports One New SARS Case, No Deaths

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Beijing (dpa) - China's health ministry reported one new case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and no deaths on Saturday, making just seven new cases in the past seven days.

Saturday's new case was in Beijing, the world's worst SARS- affected city, taking its total to 2,523 cases and 183 deaths.

City hospitals are still treating about 800 probable SARS patients, with another 668 suspected cases under observation, according to the health ministry figures.

China has now recorded 5,330 cases and 338 deaths.

Beijing and other SARS-hit cities have slowly returned to normal over the last two weeks, as the number of reported cases has fallen.

The Chinese capital plans to allow libraries, cinemas and other public entertainment venues to reopen from next week, after more than a month of enforced closure because of SARS. All venues will be required to check the temperature of visitors.

World Health Organisation officials have said they are likely to lift warnings soon against travel to four northern areas close to Beijing.

But Chinese and WHO officials have warned that the recent fall in cases would not mean the end of the country's fight against the disease.

SARS has killed more than 770 people and infected about 8,400 worldwide, according to WHO figures.

Copyright 2003 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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