Official: Bird flu basically under control in China
( 2004-02-05 10:15) (China Daily By Zhao Huanxin)
The Ministry of Agriculture said this morning that China has basically brought the bird flu infection under control by Thursday.
There have been altogether 23 high pathogenic bird flu cases in China, including 18 suspected cases and five confirmed ones since the first confirmed cases was announced 27 January.
It was released by the ministry at a going press conference organized by the State Council Information Office Thursday in Beijing.
On Wednesday, China slaughtered more chickens and implemented compulsory
vaccination in two more areas -- Guandu District of Kunming, Yunnan's capital
and Gaolan County of Northwest China's Gansu Province, where suspected outbreaks
of bird flu cases have been found.
Minister of Agriculture Du Qinglin Wednesday assured two United Nations organizations that the bird flu situation in China is now basically under control, and that China can do a good job of preventing the spread of the highly contagious virus.
He told the representatives of the China offices of World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that China is willing to improve its current mechanism on reporting the situation to the UN organizations, and expand its co-operation with them and other countries in the fight against the disease.
But Thailand, which has reported 19 suspected cases, confirmed its fifth death from the H5N1 virus Wednesday.
Viet Nam reported its 10th bird flu death Wednesday, a 17-year-old woman. All 15 deaths in Asia so far are believed to have resulted from direct contact with infected poultry.
To prevent people from getting infected with the bird flu virus, China's Ministry of Health yesterday asked local health authorities to start daily inspections of markets.
Such efforts will focus on quarantine checks of live poultry or poultry meat sold in markets, separating stalls selling live animals from other food or products, and inspecting the sanitation and disinfection of those markets.
The ministry has also asked local health authorities to set up hotlines for the public and deal immediately with the complaints about suspected illegal production and sale of poultry meat.
As for transportation, only animals, including poultry, with quarantine certification may be transported by rail, the Ministry of Railways said.
The railway sector has started an around-the-clock bird flu reporting system as of Tuesday, according to ministry sources.
Under the system, railway station workers have begun inspecting baggage from affected areas.
The Ministry of Communications also said it will make every effort to ensure that bird flu will not be spread from specific vessels and vehicles. For one thing, buses coming from bird flu-contaminated areas are subject to strict disinfectant measures.
In Beijing, the city's largest road passenger transport company -- Beijing Long-Distance Passenger Transport Co -- has resumed daily disinfection for all of its vehicles and bus stations.
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