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China Acting to Stop Bird Flu Spreading via Vehicles

China's Ministry of Railways started an around-the-clock bird flu reporting system Tuesday, with daily reports to the ministry.

All transportation sectors across China are coordinating to stop the spread of bird flu via vehicles. In bird-flu-affected Wugang City, Hunan Province, the railway station requires all passengers to submit to baggage checks.

According to the Ministry of Railways, only animals -- including poultry -- with quarantine certification may be transported by rail. Wugang implemented this requirement as early as Jan. 31.

China has taken measures to prevent bird flu entering from neighboring countries and regions. All transnational vessels, planes and trains must undergo inspection, and poultry and relevant products found on these vehicles must be sealed before they enter China.

In south China's Hainan Province, over 30 vessels from bird-flu-affected Vietnam received quarantine inspection in January, and more than 20 live chickens were inoculated against the disease. The island province also strengthened supervision of flights from the Republic of Korea, Japan and Vietnam.

Similar steps are being taken in China's national road traffic. All vehicles passing through Wugang and other infected cities must register and undergo inspection.

In Chongqing, a metropolis in western China, transportation of poultry on open lorries and buses was forbidden on Jan. 31.

In Beijing, the city's largest road passenger transport company has resumed daily disinfection for all of its vehicles and bus stations. Buses coming from bird-flu-contaminated areas are subject to strict disinfectant measures.

As soon as bird flu appeared on the mainland of China in January, the Chinese government started to take a series of measures to combat the epidemic, and also conducted education nationwide on bird flu prevention.

So far, there has been no case of a human contracting bird flu in China.

(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2004)

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