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China Adopts Effective Measures to Control Bird Flu: Official

China has taken a range of effective measures, including a daily reporting system, to control the spread of bird flu, said Vice Minister of Agriculture Liu Jian on Thursday.

The National Avian Influenza Prevention Headquarters had been established to strengthen organizational structure and the State Council had worked out contingency plans for the nationwide containment, said Liu at a press conference held by the ministry.

The Ministry of Agriculture had instituted and issued 11 technical regulations, and strengthened its leadership on bird flu prevention. Local governments and administrative agencies in charge of livestock and veterinary affairs in the key areas are operating as in a state of emergency.

In accordance with the provisions in the Law on Animal Epidemic Prevention, emergency response measures were launched promptly in the affected areas, including intensified mass culling and compulsory vaccination. All poultry within 3 kilometers around affected sites were to be killed and disposed of safely.

Compulsory vaccination was imposed on all the poultry within 5 kilometers around the affected sites according to set standards. Live poultry markets within 10 kilometers were to close. The affected sites, areas and endangered areas were to be disinfected.

In the meantime, the system for diagnosis and publicity has been strictly regulated. An avian influenza daily reporting system had been implemented.

The emergency production and storage of vaccines was underway. Two new vaccine plants had been certified by the Ministry of Agriculture, and production would start soon, said Liu.

China had also stepped up guidelines and supervision concerning bird flu control. Since the disease broke out, the Ministry of Agriculture and other ministries had sent more than ten supervision teams to affected areas to supervise the implementation of the control and culling measures, and guide epidemic prevention. Health authorities were implementing schemes to prevent its transmission to humans, starting epidemic monitoring, and adopting prevention measures to protect human health.

The country has also been actively cooperating with international organizations. After the outbreak of avian influenza, the Ministry of Agriculture promptly notified the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization and answered inquiries from media and foreign embassies to China.

Meanwhile, quality supervision and customs agencies had tightened inspections and quarantine at border ports to prevent the disease spreading further into China.

(Xinhua News Agency February 5, 2004)

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