Press Release

Statement by the Department of Health and Children

The Expert Group on SARS met today at the Department of Health and Children. A number of issues, which are the subject of constant review were discussed by the Group including the current epidemiology of the infection; the latest WHO figures in relation to the international incidences of the SARS virus; aspects of the hospital management of SARS and contingency planning in relation to SARS. The Expert Group noted that Toronto was now, once again on the WHO list of affected areas – www.who.int/csr/sars/areas/2003_05_27/en/

The Expert Group confirmed its decision of the May 15th which stated that delegations which were on the WHO list of affected areas prior to the Special Olympic World Games would be asked not to travel.

The Expert Group had given a commitment to the Irish Special Olympics Committee and the Special Olympics International Committee that they would have an opportunity to put proposals to the Group. A proposal has now been received from the Special Olympics International Committee and a further proposal has been received from the Chinese Government. The Expert Group considered these proposals and agreed that they would be considered further in consultation with the WHO over the next number of days.