» 05/04/2006, 00.00
APEC countries discuss measures to tackle possible bird flu pandemic
Proposals mooted at the meeting under way in Vietnam include: greater exchange of information and faster procedures for the entry of WHO teams in areas of new outbreaks.
Hanoi (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Asia-Pacific officials are meeting in Vietnam to find ways to stop a possible bird flu pandemic that experts say could kill millions.
The three-day meeting of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) health and agriculture ministers and officials is due to call on the group's 21 members to promptly share all information on new cases to stop or slow any outbreak.
Opening the meeting, Vietnam's deputy agriculture minister, Bui Ba Bong, said that since late 2003, 205 people have been infected in nine countries, and 113 of them have died, resulting in a "very high fatality rate" of 55.1 per cent.
A draft of the meeting's action plan, to be approved by ministers on Friday, warns that "an influenza pandemic would have broad and potentially global economic, social and security consequences".
Under the plan, members would pledge to limit bird flu in their poultry stocks by encouraging a shift from traditional live bird markets to more bio-secure facilities.
To prepare for outbreaks, they would also streamline visa and customs procedures for the World Health Organisation's (WHO) rapid response teams to ensure they could arrive quickly with their equipment at the scene of any outbreak.
Of the APEC member countries, China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam have all suffered human infections, while the disease has also affected birds in Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Russia and South Korea.
Vietnam, which will host the annual APEC summit in November, has been the worst affected, with 42 human deaths since the outbreak started here in December 2003.
The following countries are members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, USA and Vietnam.
Hanoi announces three new bird flu cases
Indonesia, China, Vietnam: new bird flu victims
There has been a death in Jakarta, a new case of human infection in Anhui and outbreaks of infection in southern Vietnam. Governments are not managing to stem the lethal virus.
Bird flu reaches Pakistan
There are new outbreaks of infection in Malaysia and a third suspected case of human infection in Egypt.
Bird flu claims 43rd victim in Jakarta
The Indonesian archipelago has surpassed Vietnam to become the hardest hit country in the world.
Bird flu: Indonesia death toll reaches 52
The latest victim was a boy from West Java province. Fears are growing about human-to-human transmission: the victim's brother died four days ago with symptoms of the H5N1 virus but it was not possible to take blood samples for testing.
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
26/05/2017 RUSSIA - UKRAINE
24/05/2017 CHINA- VATICAN
24/05/2017 GREAT BRITAIN - ISLAM
24/05/2017 VATICAN â€" CHINA
22/05/2017 TAIWAN â€" CHINA
24/05/2017 VATICAN - CHINA
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.