Thailand yesterday urged poultry farmers to immediately report all suspected bird flu cases in a bid to prevent a second wave of human infections that killed eight people earlier this year.
The warning reflected increased urgency in government efforts to tackle Thailand's second wave of bird flu -- now reported in 27 places in 13 provinces in recent weeks -- following its major bout with the disease during the first few months of this year.
Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphand reminded farmers and other members of the public in a written announcement that people are required to report suspected cases, and that violators face a maximum three-year jail term and a 5,000 baht (US$125) fine.
The warning, including a list of precautions that people can take to avoid becoming infected, will be distributed and posted in every community in the country, she said.
"The main message is we must prevent the transmission from birds to humans by banning the sales and movement of dead animals and eggs. The disinfection must also be done under standard guidelines," she said.
The Livestock Department said on Monday that the virus is suspected to have spread to nine other provinces including Bangkok.
Bird flu devastated the poultry industry in many countries in Asia, including Thailand, earlier this year, when tens of millions of chickens died or were culled. The virus also jumped to humans, killing eight people in Thailand and 16 in Vietnam.
The Thai government last week ordered the culling of birds on all farms where 10 percent or more of chickens have died of unexplained reasons.
Officials were also ordered to take random blood tests of chickens at farms across the country by the end of the month.
More than 120,000 birds including chickens and ducks have already been culled nationwide during the last month. The government has refused to import bird flu vaccines on the ground that close surveillance and culling are the best solutions.
PASTA PUNCHLINE: Billy McLean’s spoof poking fun at misinformation on the coronavirus was meant for friends, but is being eaten up by frazzled Britons It started off as an ad-libbed joke for some friends in a soccer banter group and ended up being heard by vast numbers of Britons within hours. However, the man responsible for a joke WhatsApp audio clip that claimed the UK Ministry of Defence was about to requisition Wembley Stadium to cook the world’s biggest lasagna has said his viral success also shows the risks of believing everything that gets sent to you on the messaging service. Billy McLean, a 29-year-old Londoner who works in software sales, came forward to the Guardian to identify himself as the creator of the much-shared clip
‘AN HONORABLE TASK’: The brigade to Italy is the sixth contingent of doctors the nation has sent abroad to aid governments contending with the COVID-19 pandemic Cuba has dispatched doctors and nurses to Italy for the first time this weekend to help fight COVID-19 at the request of the worst-affected region Lombardy, it said. The Caribbean nation has sent its “armies of white robes” to disaster sites around the world largely in poor countries since its 1959 revolution, with doctors on the front lines in the fight against cholera in Haiti and against ebola in West Africa in the 2010s. Yet with the 52-strong brigade, this is the first time Cuba has sent an emergency contingent to Italy, one of the world’s richest countries, demonstrating the reach of
There are growing concerns for the health of Rokia Traore, a Malian singer who has been on hunger strike at the Fleury-Merogis Prison near Paris since she was arrested on March 10 on allegations of kidnapping her daughter in a child custody dispute. “I am very worried,” said Kenneth Feliho, her lawyer. “She is only drinking. She has not been eating for over a week and her immune system is weak.” Among those calling for the musician’ release are African stars including Salif Keita, Youssou N’Dour and Angelique Kidjo. Damon Albarn, who performed with her in the group Africa Express, wrote: “We demand,
FATAL IDEA: The nation’s drugs regulator is curbing use of hydroxychloroquine, which Donald Trump has promoted for its alleged potential to treat COVID-19 Australia’s drug regulator has been forced to restrict powers to prescribe a drug undergoing clinical trials to treat COVID-19, because doctors have been inappropriately prescribing it to themselves and their family members, despite potentially deadly side effects. The anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and the similar compound chloroquine are currently used mostly for patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, but stocks in Australia have been diminished thanks to global publicity — including from US President Donald Trump — about the potential of the drug to treat COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have potentially severe and even deadly side effects if used inappropriately, including