The death of the first foreigner from Sars in China prompted the disinfection of all five diplomatic compounds in Beijing. Pekka Aro, a 53-year-old Finnish official with the International Labour Organisation, died on April 6.
The US said it would pay for the departure of non-emergency staff and their families at its diplomatic missions in China, and other countries were considering taking similar action. Three international schools decided to close before the Easter holidays – the French School in Beijing and Shanghai's Singapore International School and Concordia International School.
However, most foreigners in Beijing had decided to remain in the capital, according to South China Morning Post. Some were staying put to avoid travelling on planes, according to one foreign businessman.