NEWS > Mainland
Premier Wen: Situation in bird flu control"serious"
2005-11-09 04:29:34 Xinhua English

Premier Wen was in an inspection tour of the bird flu-hit Heishan County in northeast China's Liaoning Province Tuesday. (Xinhua photo)

BEIJING, Nov. 9(Xinhuanet)-- Premier Wen Jiabao has called on the nation to intensify efforts to fight bird flu when the country is facing a "very serious situation" in controlling the epidemic.

Bird flu has not been totally controlled in China and the danger of its spread still exists in some areas, the premier said during an inspection tour of the bird flu-hit Heishan County in northeast China's Liaoning Province on Tuesday.

He urged the local governments to pay great attention to the epidemic situation and focus on preventing the disease from jumping to human. He said the task is"arduous."

China is the largest producer of poultry. Local governments should fully realize the great danger of the epidemic, Wen stressed, adding that governments at all levels should carry out prevention and control measures and must not slack off the prevention work.

Provinces with large poultry numbers and areas close to the bird flu-hit regions should make emergency plans and set up sound emergency systems and store up materials and equipment needed, Wen said.

Different regions should strengthen the exchange of information and cooperation to control the epidemic, said Wen.

China has reported four cases of bird flu outbreak since the coming of autumn. The situation in 58 villages of 18 towns in Heishan County of Liaoning Province is very serious.

Heishan county is located on migratory birds' route from East Asia to Australia, and more than 20 dead magpies and other wild birds have been spotted.

More than 10 million poultry have been culled in the region since the outbreak of bird flu. Task forces have been set up to provide quarantine and medical services.

Health authorities fear that the more the H5N1 virus spreads, the greater chance it has to mutate-- picking up genes from ordinary flu that could make it highly contagious among humans.

Bird flu has killed more than 60 people in Southeast Asia since 2003.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice Premier Hui Liangyu inspected the medical stations and poultry disposal sites and visited poultry raisers and medical workers in Heishan on Tuesday.

Wen said the slaughter of poultry in the affected areas in Heishan should be thorough to remove the cause of future trouble.

When visiting a medical station in Yingfang village, Wen said that preventing the disease from jumping to human is the key in the whole prevention and control work.

Medical supervision and monitoring should be strengthened to ensure the health of people, said Wen. Enditem

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