Chinese President Hu calls for stepped-up efforts to prevent swine flu 2009-04-28 21:21:34   Print

Special Report:  World Tackles Swine Flu


    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.


    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.


    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 products.

    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.


    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 preparations.

    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.


    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 those countries.

    The Foreign Ministry would closely follow the development of the swine flu epidemic, and would promptly publish new information.

    The National Tourism Administration ordered travel agencies to suspend tour groups to Mexico, and advised Chinese citizens to avoid trips to the country.  

Premier Wen calls for strengthened swine flu prevention

    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

World on higher alert for swine flu outbreaks

Three more people died in the last 24 hours of swine flu, Mexico City officials told a Tuesday press conference, adding that local authorities had ordered the closure of more public places.

Passengers wear protective masks as they ride Mexico's city subway April 28, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    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

Swine flu poses new challenges to world economy

    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

China takes preventive steps against swine flu

    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

China's Health Ministry on high alert for swine flu

    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 Monday.

    Research on a possible vaccine and medication to combat the deadly virus was also underway, MOH spokesman Mao Qun'an told Xinhua. Full story

China's capital sees pork consumption unaffected

    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

CHP: Hong Kong woman being tested for swine flu

    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

Health minister: "Probable" swine flu death toll reaches 152 in Mexico

    MEXICO CITY, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Mexican Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos said late Monday that "probable" deaths toll from swine flu rose to 152 in the country.

    Cordova announced the number, including both confirmed and suspected swine flu cases, at a news conference. Full story

U.S. swine flu cases rise to 40, drug stockpile released

    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 swine flu.

    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

WHO raises pandemic alert level from Phase 3 to Phase 4

    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

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