BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- China went on full
alert Tuesday to guard against swine flu, as authorities ordered round-the-clock
monitoring of the deadly virus and suspension of pork imports from Mexico and
the United States.
Chinese President Hu Jintao Tuesday ordered the
country to step up inspection and quarantine measures to prevent swine flu from
entering China and ensure public health and safety.
Hu urged local Party and government departments to
stick to the people-first policy, closely monitor the global swine flu
situation, and take prompt and comprehensive measures to deal with the virus,
which had killed about 150 people in Mexico.
Officials should enhance international cooperation
and public awareness of swine flu, and make full preparations of necessary
materials and technological reserves to combat the deadly virus, he said.
As of Tuesday morning, no confirmed cases of swine
flu had been reported in China, and the related virus had not been found in pigs
in the country which has the world's biggest pig population.
HEALTH MINISTRY: MEDICAL
STAFF ON 24-HOUR STANDBY
The Health Ministry released a notice on Tuesday
afternoon, ordering a round-the-clock working plan at all medical departments.
Authorities should enhance monitoring and reporting
of suspected cases of swine flu, and should step up supervision at
kindergartens, schools, colleges and nursing homes, focusing on the elderly and
the children, it added.
Patients suspected of contracting the virus should be
taken to designated hospitals, and treated and transported by designated
emergency centers only, it said.
Medical supplies and equipment should be sufficiently
provided to the designated medical institutions.
QUALITY WATCHDOG: PORK
IMPORT FROM MEXICO AND UNITED STATES SUSPENDED
China's Agriculture Ministry and quality watchdog
issued a joint notice on Monday suspending all imports of live pigs or products
containing pork from Mexico and the US states of Texas, California and Kansas.
Live pigs or products shipped from the above regions
to China before Monday could not enter the Chinese market without being tested
by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine,
the notice said.
The administration would enhance inspection of
parcels and luggage carried by passengers entering China, and advance
sterilization of passing international ships, trains and aircraft.
It would also join with the customs and border
defence authorities to crack down on the smuggling of live pigs and their
On Saturday, the administration also required the
public to report flu-like symptoms at the point of entry when coming from the
swine flu affected places.
People who developed flu-like symptoms after
returning from the disease affected regions within two weeks should also report
to the local entry-exit inspection and quarantine authorities.
People reporting flu-like symptoms must be examined
and those who have been infected or are suspected to be infected by the virus
should be isolated and treated.
Those who have traveled to Mexico would be subject to
stricter examinations, the administration said.
EXPERTS ORGANIZED TO STUDY EPIDEMIC SITUATION
The Ministry of Agriculture Tuesday announced a team
of animal disease prevention experts would study the epidemic situation of the
swine flu, and to make proposals for Chinese authorities to head off the virus.
Minister of Agriculture Sun Zhengcai said although
China so far reported no suspected cases of swine flu nor any similar virus in
pigs, the epidemic could still spread to China.
"The situation in some countries is worsening. More
suspected cases are being found and the affected area is expanding," he said,
"There are too many uncertainties."
Sun said the ministry had been in close contact with
the WHO and agricultural departments of Mexico and the United States to make
The ministry was closely monitoring regions with
large numbers of pigs, he said. Owners of live pigs imported from overseas since
last year were required to promptly report to the ministry, should the pigs show
abnormalities with their health.
The ministry was also working to develop a vaccine
for the swine flu, Sun said.
MINISTRIES RECOMMEND TO POSTPONE TRIPS TO MEXICO
China's Ministry of Commerce warned Chinese citizens
not to work in Mexico in the near term, and to enhance prevention when they head
to work in countries that have reported swine flu cases.
The United States, Canada, Spain and France had also
reported cases of swine flu.
Jiang Yu, spokeswoman of China's Foreign Ministry,
also warned Chinese citizens to take steps for disease prevention when visiting
The Foreign Ministry would closely follow the
development of the swine flu epidemic, and would promptly publish new
The National Tourism Administration ordered travel
agencies to suspend tour groups to Mexico, and advised Chinese citizens to avoid
trips to the country.
BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
on Tuesday called for enhanced swine flu prevention and control in a State
Council, or Cabinet, meeting in the wake of an outbreak of the epidemic in
countries including Mexico.
The meeting, presided over by Wen, heard reports from
central government departments including the Ministry of Health, on global swine
flu situation. Full story
Passengers wear protective masks as they
ride Mexico's city subway April 28, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters
BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- As the H1N1 swine flu
is reported to have claimed 152 lives in Mexico and is confirmed to have hit
Europe, the whole world is on higher alert for the new deadly virus, with the
World Health Organization raising its pandemic alert level.
About 2,000 people in Mexico have been hospitalized
with swine flu as of Monday, 776 of them in serious condition, according to
official statistics. Full story
BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Fears are on the rise
that the swine flu outbreak could jeopardize the already fragile global economy
and reverse its initial recovery.
Mexico, which is at the epicenter of the deadly
disease, has so far reported a total of 1,995 suspected cases and at least 149
suspected swine flu deaths. Its northern neighbor, the United States, reported
42 confirmed cases, including 28 at one New York City school. Full story
BEIJING, April 28 -- The government Monday
banned the import of pork and pork products from Mexico and the U.S. states of
Texas, Kansas and California to prevent the spread of swine flu that has killed
at least 100 people in the Central American country.
All pork and pork products imported from Mexico and
the three U.S. states will either be returned to the suppliers or destroyed, the
General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine
(GAQSIQ) said. Full story
BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of
Health (MOH) is developing a diagnostic reagent for use in testing for swine
flu, which has killed more than 100 people in Mexico, an MOH spokesman said
Research on a possible vaccine and medication to
combat the deadly virus was also underway, MOH spokesman Mao Qun'an told Xinhua.
BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Pork prices remained
stable and consumption unchanged in Beijing Monday in the aftermath of the swine
flu outbreak in Mexico as the government assured the pork is safe to eat.
At Xinfadi, Beijing's largest wholesale food market,
hog and pork prices stood at between 11.5 yuan (1.7 U.S. dollars) and 13.5 yuan
per kg. Full story
HONG KONG, April 27 (Xinhua) -- A Hong Kong woman who
recently developed symptoms of respiratory infection and fever while traveling
to the United States was being tested for swine flu, the local Center for Health
Protection (CHP) said Monday.
Hong Kong stepped up surveillance of swine flu on
Saturday. The Center for Health Protection said it has since received reports on
three patients in line with the reporting criteria. All-clear has been given to
the other two patients. Full story
WASHINGTON, April 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. health officials
said Monday that there are now up to 40 cases of swine flu in five U.S. States
and they had released 25 percent of a federal drugs stockpile to states fighting
Briefing reporters at a news conference in Atlanta on
Monday, Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC, said 20 new cases were
confirmed due entirely to further testing in New York at a school in Queens,
bringing the New York total to 28. Full story
GENEVA, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Amid the rapid spread of
swine flu in some countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday
raised its pandemic alert level from Phase 3 to Phase 4, warning of a
significant increase in the risk of a pandemic.
Following the advice and guidance of an emergency
committee, WHO Director-general Margaret Chan decided to raise the alert level
from the current Phase 3 to Phase 4, a WHO official told the media on a
teleconference. Full story