Mon, 14 Apr 2003

'SARS no risk at Borobudur festival'

PURWOKERTO, Central Java: Governor Mardiyanto dismissed on Saturday fears that the worldwide outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) would adversely affect plans to hold an international arts festival in the grounds of prominent Borobudur temple, Magelang, Central Java, in June.

"It's a rare international festival. We are committed to making the event a success, so there will be no changes to our plans, whatever happens," Mardiyanto said on the sidelines of a visit to Purwokerto.

He said his administration had anticipated the outbreak by asking all hospitals across the province to set up a special team to deal with people showing SARS symptoms. Two suspected cases of SARS have so far been found in the province, with one of the patients already discharged from the hospital.

"We will not take special precautionary measures, including examining participants at the festival in connection with the SARS epidemic," Mardiyanto said.

Participants from several countries affected by SARS, including China, Singapore and Thailand, have confirmed their entry to the festival. -- JP