The World Health Organization appealed yesterday for more urgent action by China against bird flu, warning that its "window of opportunity" to contain the disease might be slipping away as the government expanded its ban on poultry exports to three new areas with suspect cases.
\nThe government tried to reassure foreign customers of its huge poultry industry, announcing tighter health controls on chickens, ducks and other birds from areas still allowed to export.
\nThe WHO called on the communist government to share more information about the disease, step up monitoring for possible human cases and to take precautions so that workers engaged in the mass slaughter of birds aren't accidentally infected.
\nThe appeal came after China on Friday announced confirmed cases in its central provinces of Hunan and Hubei and suspected cases in the financial capital of Shanghai and the provinces of Anhui in the east and Guangdong in the south. The country's first confirmed case was found Tuesday in a duck in the southern region of Guangxi.
\n"We have repeatedly said there is a brief window of opportunity to act within China," Dr. Julie Hall, a WHO official in Beijing, said in a statement issued by the agency. "This latest news strongly suggests that the window is getting smaller with each passing day."
\nChina has reported no human cases of the disease that has been found in 10 Asian countries. Eight people have died in Vietnam and two in Thailand.
\nChina on Friday banned poultry exports from Shanghai, Anhui and Guangdong, adding to a prohibition already in place on Hunan, Hubei and Guangxi, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
\nGuangdong, which borders Hong Kong, is where the earliest cases of what would become SARS were reported in November, 2002.
\nIn the eastern province of Shandong, a major poultry exporter with no reported cases, producers were told to restrict access to farms and undergo hygiene inspections, Xinhua said. It said Shandong exports up to 350,000 tonnes of poultry products every year.
\nState newspapers tried to reassure China's public that the virus was under control, showing government workers in masks, gloves and head-to-toe protective suits spraying disinfectant on poultry farms.
\nAs a result of the outbreak in China of the fatal form of bird flu, the Council of Agriculture had started slaughtering chickens in southern Taiwan that contain the H5N2 virus, while several government administrations are monitoring illegal chicken imports from China.
\n"Chickens on three farms in Chiayi County and Tainan County have tested positive for the H5N2 virus. So far, two poultry farms in Chiayi County have already completed the mass slaughter of chickens and the process is still ongoing at the farm in Tainan County," said Yeh Ying (
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South