• Kyodo

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A doctor diagnosed with SARS after returning to Taiwan from a six-day sightseeing tour of Japan has recovered, a hospital spokesman said Tuesday.

“The doctor, who received both physical and psychological treatment while being isolated in the intensive care ward, was discharged early this morning,” Kuo Shu-ta, head of Mackay Memorial Hospital’s anti-SARS team, told a news conference.

He added that the doctor still needs to be quarantined for 14 days before he goes back to work.

The doctor did not attend the news conference as expected. Instead, Kuo played a tape carrying a few words from the 26-year-old man.

The doctor apologized for having “not only sparked unnecessary fears and worries among a lot of Japanese nationals but also inconveniencing many of my friends who were placed under home confinement.”

The doctor, wearing a full protective suit, was working the night shift in an emergency ward when a probable SARS patient arrived for treatment May 4.

Considering that he did not have any direct contact with the patient, the doctor embarked on a scheduled trip to Japan four days later. He then developed a fever.

After returning home, he was soon reported by the hospital as a suspected SARS case, which immediately raised serious concerns that the epidemic may have spread to Japan.

“We are sorry about what has happened. Fortunately, the virus did not spread around, and the young doctor, who suffered from high blood pressure when hospitalized, is in good condition now,” Kuo told reporters.

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