Taiwan plans earlier slaughtering ban

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 26, 2013
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Slaughtering poultry at traditional markets will be banned from May 17, a month earlier than previously planned, amid H7N9 infection fears, Taiwan's agricultural authority announced Thursday.

The decision was made after Jiang Yi-Huah, chief of the island's executive body, urged the agricultural authorities to ban slaughtering poultry in markets ahead of the scheduled June 17.

The move came after a 53-year-old Taiwanese man was confirmed to be infected with the new type of bird flu on Wednesday, the first such case on the island.

The patient showed symptoms three days after returning from Suzhou City in the mainland's Jiangsu Province, where dozens of H7N9 cases have been reported.

Jiang said he hopes local authorities cautiously assess the development of the disease by taking into account the health of the people and economic development.

"Relevant departments should make accurate assessment on what stage the infection has developed to and what measures should be taken," said the official.

The island's mainland affairs authorities reiterated at the press conference that Taiwan will not take restrictive measures for tourists from the mainland, but will step up monitoring the health condition of travelers.

Tourists will be hospitalized once found to have relevant symptoms, they said.

Taiwan's first H7N9-infected patient is in "serious but stable" condition after treatment, the island's health authority said Thursday.

The patient, a 53-year-old Taiwanese businessman operating in Suzhou City of eastern mainland's Jiangsu Province, returned to Taiwan from Shanghai on April 9. He was confirmed to have been infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus on Wednesday.

A total of 139 people who have had contact with him are being monitored, including three close contacts, 26 general contacts and 110 medical workers.

The three people in close contact are not infected and the three health workers who were exposed to the patient and subsequently exhibited respiratory problems have also tested negative for the virus, Taiwan's health authority said in a statement.

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