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China Issues Two Notices on Bird Flu Prevention, Control

The Chinese government has issued two notices to governments at all levels to cooperate in preventing and curbing bird flu.

The notices, which were issued by the National Avian Influenza Prevention Headquarters as No. 1 and No. 2, instruct local governments to set up joint task forces with officials from related government departments to coordinate the fight against bird flu, and allocate resources needed for the battle.

Local governments were also instructed to assume leadership of efforts by institutions, the military, NGOs and business, the notices stipulate.

Local authorities were urged to abide by the requirements concerning disease reporting and confirmation of the emergency plan to fight the highly pathogenic bird flu.

The notices urged local governments to report in a timely manner cases of bird flu and to protect material containing the virus, and to punish those who delay or cover up cases.

The notices also ordered local governments to improve health checks of those involved in bird farming, transportation, and processing, particularly in areas hit by the disease.

Local governments should also provide necessary protective materials and equipment for those involved in slaughtering birds infected with avian influenza to prevent human infection.

The notices outlined requirements for quarantine and vaccine production and use.

(Xinhua News Agency February 9, 2004)

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