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Vietnam Reports More Bird flu-hit Localities

A total of 1,378 communes of 56 cities and provinces out of 64 localities in Vietnam were hit by bird flu, which infected nearly 14.2 million poultry, by Tuesday.

Twenty-eight northern localities and 28 southern ones have faced the outbreak, Le Huy Ngo, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development cum head of the national steering committee on bird flu, announced in a press briefing on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the Vietnamese Government asked each minister to go to one or two bird flu-stricken localities to inspect and urge the implementation of measures against the diseases being conducted by local authorities, he said.

It also requested chairpersons of municipal and provincial People's Committees to further strengthen coordination with all forces to stop the bird flu spread, and ensure the enforcement of bans on trading and transporting poultry, poultry products and poultry feeds in their territory.

"We are doing our best to eliminate the outbreak in the shortest period of time. The worst scenario is that a maximum of 30 million of fowls will be killed," Ngo told Xinhua on the sidelines of the briefing.

By the end of last year, Vietnam had a fowl population of some 250 million, mostly hens and cocks.

(Xinhua News Agency February 4, 2004)

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