Two billion yuan earmarked to control bird flu
By Zhao Huanxin (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-03 05:45
China's fight against bird flu received a strong shot in the arm yesterday
the government has earmarked a special fund of 2 billion yuan (US$246.6 million)
for epidemic control.
"(We) must realize the severe and compelling situation in bird flu control,
maintain high vigilance, and never let down our guard," said a statement from a
State Council (China's cabinet) meeting held yesterday in Beijing.
Health workers in
Yongzhou city, Central China's Hunan Province, bury dead chickens "killed
by bird flu" in a drill Wednesday November 2, 2005 to test their emergency
response ability. A bird flu outbreak was reported in the province's
Xiangtan city last month. It was immediately brought under
The meeting, presided by Premier Wen Jiabao, decided to set aside the amount
from this year's central budget for prevention and control of the highly
pathogenic avian influenza.
It also announced that it would reactivate the national command headquarters
to co-ordinate efforts against bird flu.
Observers noted the size of the fund exactly matches the budget allocation
made in April 2003 to fight against the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)
In addition to funding, the State Council said, any failure, delay or
cover-up in reporting outbreaks will be dealt with harshly, according to
Information about epidemics will be released accurately and in time, and
technological co-operation with other countries and international organizations
will be further enhanced, they said.
In case of a new outbreak, measures such as culling, disinfection and
quarantine should follow immediately to eradicate any infection at the site, the
The meeting stressed that the country's priority is to ensure no one is
China has reported and brought under effective control three bird flu
outbreaks among poultry over the past month in North China's Inner Mongolia
Autonomous Region, and East China's Anhui and Central China's Hunan provinces.
No human case has been reported.
The State Council statement said the country should improve emergency
procedures and prevention and treatment measures for human infection, and
strengthen monitoring of live poultry markets.