Ministry responds to expert skepticism of A/H1N1 reporting

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, November 19, 2009
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China's Ministry of Health (MOH) Thursday ordered all administrative and medical departments to ensure accurate reporting of A/H1N1 influenza cases, in response to a medical expert's query over false reports.

Zhong Nanshan, a medical expert in south China's Guangdong Province, was quoted by Thursday's Southern Metropolis Daily as saying that he did not believe there had been only 53 deaths of A/H1N1 flu nationwide.

Zhong, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said some areas had left dead patients undiagnosed in order to conceal the number of deaths from the flu.

Deng Haihua, spokesman of the MOH, said late Thursday that the ministry welcomed supervision from all walks of society, including the media.

Deng said the ministry had dispatched nine teams to 12 provinces and autonomous regions to oversee prevention and treatment of the flu, especially treatment of severe cases.

He also promised that the ministry would continue to supervise local work and release information quickly.

The ministry issued a notice on its website Wednesday, saying that it would start to update A/H1N1 flu information only once a week. Previously, it offered updates three times a week.

As of Sunday, almost 70,000 A/H1N1 flu cases had been reported on the Chinese mainland, with 53 deaths in total, according to the ministry.

Of all the flu cases reported last week, almost 90 percent were A/H1N1 cases, totaling more than 10,000.

So far, about 18.2 million people nationwide had been vaccinated.

The ministry has advised the public to keep warm in cold and snowy weather, to wash hands frequently and keep rooms ventilated.

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