BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's State Council has called for continued efforts on prevention and control of an H7N9 bird flu outbreak.
Information about the outbreak should be widely available to prevent panic and strengthen monitoring of transportation and trade of live poultry, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.
The government ordered better management of live poultry markets, including closure, sanitation and quarantine. The live poultry trade should be stopped in places where H7N9 cases have been reported or where the virus has been detected, the statement said.
There will be harsher punishment for wrongdoing concerning poultry transportation, sales and slaughter, and there should be improvements in the care of critical patients.
Since January, at least 270 H7N9 human infections have been reported in China, with at least 87 fatalities. Most cases were around the Yangtze and Pearl river deltas.
H7N9 was first reported in humans in China in March 2013 and is most likely to strike in winter and spring.