[an error occurred while processing this directive] BBC World Service | Learning English | News English - Words in the News
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

 
You are in: Home > General & Business English
Words in the News
 
Monday 21 April 2003
 
SARS Beijing
 
SARS In China, the World Health Organisation says that the number of officially reported cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS has once again risen rapidly. Most of the cases were in Beijing. New figures come only one day after the government admitted that it had not made public the full number of cases. This report from Holly Williams:
 
Listen Listen to the story
 
Just a day ago people in Beijing thought that their city had SARS under control, with fewer than forty reported infections. Then, in an unusual move in this authoritarian state, the government admitted to under-reporting the number of SARS patients. Today's figures take the new official total to well over four hundred. Beijing's SARS nightmare has increased more than ten-fold in just twenty-four hours.

Belatedly, after months of playing down the epidemic, China has signalled a drastic new approach to SARS, sacking Beijing's mayor and dismissing the health minister from his Communist Party job as punishment for the cover-up. China says it wants health officials to come clean about SARS and this sudden new jump in reported infections seems to indicate that the message is getting through.

Holly Williams, BBC, Beijing
 
 
Listen Listen to the words
 
under-reporting
 
not giving full details of; giving less than the real total of
 
nightmare
 
frightening situation
 
ten-fold
 
by ten times; multiplied by ten
 
belatedly
 
If something happens belatedly, it happens later than it should have done.
 
playing down
 
If you play something down, you try to make it seem less serious or important than it really is.
 
drastic
 
sudden and severe
 
sacking
 
dismissing
 
the cover-up
 
the attempt to prevent the full details from being made public
 
to come clean
 
to admit what has been kept secret; to tell the unpleasant truth
 
getting through
 
being understood. If you get through to someone you succeed in making them understand what you are trying to say.
 
 
blue arrow Read more about this story
 
SEARCH IN LEARNING ENGLISH
   
 
 
 
 
LEARN IN YOUR LANGUAGE
 
 
 
 
Link to Chinese English language teaching pagesLink to Arabic English language teaching pagesLink to Russian English language teaching pagesLink to Spanish English language teaching pages
A space gif
A grey bar A grey bar A grey bar