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    MOSCOW, January 5th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Russian doctors are ready to counteract atypical pneumonia if it comes to our country. This is what Head of the State Epidemics Department of the Russian Health Ministry Galina Lazikova said when commenting on the WHO's and the Chinese Health Ministry's reports about a SARS case in China which is the first SARS case since summer 2003 that was confirmed by lab examination.

    All the 75 labs in Russian regions have the necessary equipment, test systems, special clothes, disinfecting substances and apparatuses, said Lazikova. In her words, seminars for doctors and relevant trainings have been held all over the country.

    Last summer medical checkpoints on the border with China and Mongolia were put in proper order, and all specialists there well instructed as to what measures should be taken in regard to patients with SARS symptoms.

    If the WHO decides that the situation in China and Mongolia is becoming alarming, Russia will toughen sanitary requirements at border checkpoints, said the head of the State Epidemics Department.

    In July, the WHO declared the end of the SARS epidemics, which claimed 774 lives, with 349 of them in China and 299 in Hong-Kong. In all, more than 8,000 people all over the world contracted the SARS virus.

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