Stung into action by the worsening Sars situation, President Hu Jintao held crisis talks on April 13 with Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-hwa. Tung admitted that the disease had not been brought under "effective control" in Hong Kong. Hu said he was "very worried" by the situation.
China's newly appointed premier Wen Jiabao showed his commitment by visiting a Beijing hospital treating Sars patients. He conceded that the disease threatened the country's "national interest and international image", adding: "Much progress has been made in combating the disease so far, with the epidemic brought under control in some areas, but the overall situation remains grave." He went on to urge periodic and truthful reporting on the issue and more cooperation with the WHO.
Wen also called on government officials and the public to mobilise and fight the out- break. Quarantine centres have been established at airports, ports and railway stations.
The Ministry of Health ordered better coordination between the nation's various research institutes. A co-ordinating taskforce is also to be set up, which will take charge of pathology research institutes.
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