One of the two patients was released from hospital on Saturday and the other was in stable condition, the ministry said on Saturday on its Web site.

The cases, including a 20-year-old waitress who worked in an exotic game restaurant, bring the total number of confirmed new SARS cases in China to three.

A 32-year-old-television journalist who was China's first case in six months recovered and left hospital on 6 January.

The SARS virus first emerged in Guangdong, of which Guangzhou is capital, in late 2002 and went on to infect more than 8000 people in nearly 30 countries, killing about 800.