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Beijing admits isolating 8,000 for SARS
A once crowded city turns into a "ghost town"

A deserted Tiananmen Square

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[Beijing, April 28, 2003] Xinhua News Agency (the official Chinese government mouthpiece) today announced that Beijing has put 8,000 SARS suspects in isolation. This is the first time that Beijing has given an official number for those put into isolation.

The isolated areas include a residential building in Beijing People’s Hospital, a dorm at Central Finance University, three dorms at Beijing Transportation University, and two residential buildings at Beijing Science and Technology Research Center. One construction site in Beijing is also being blocked from public access.

Beijing Language College, like other universities, has cancelled its mid-term exams and shut down for two months. This college is host to many overseas students who are studying the Chinese language in China.

Many Beijing residents witnessed several agriculture planes circulating over the city, and they have filed complaints to the foreign press that the government is using these planes to spray anti-bacterial drugs over the city without prior notice to the public. Most local residents called each other or used mobile phone messages to warn each other of such “air sprays,” to close their windows and doors in time.

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