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WHO official praises China's swine flu response
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 12 - 06 - 2009

A U.N. health official praised China's
aggressive steps to contain swine flu, as Hong Kong and New
Zealand announced new cases Friday and Taiwan said it was
bracing for a possible spike in infections when cooler
weather arrives in September, according to AP.
Hans Troedsson, head of the World Health Organization's
Beijing office, said China's efforts to contain the disease
_ which was declared a new pandemic on Thursday _ marked a
massive improvement over its slow response to the SARS
outbreak in 2003.
«There is a huge difference compared to the SARS time,»
Troedsson told The Associated Press. «What China has
improved quite substantially is in its reporting and
measures taken. For example, China has been reporting the
cases within the stipulated time to the WHO.»
The communist nation's slow response to SARS, or severe
acute respiratory syndrome, was widely blamed for causing
that global outbreak.
This time, the world's most populous country has
quarantined travelers _ including New Orleans Mayor Ray
Nagin _ on the slightest suspicion of contact with an
infected person, and it has increased surveillance for the
virus with temperature checks on incoming passengers at
airports.
China has confirmed 126 cases of swine flu on the
mainland. There have been no reports of deaths.
Troedsson said the region's more developed countries,
including Australia and Japan, have been the hardest hit so
far, but the UN agency is concerned about how well the
region's poorer countries will handle bigger outbreaks,
which he said were inevitable.
«It's not possible to prevent it, but you can prepare for
and mitigate the impact of the larger-scale outbreak,» he
said. «In that respect, I think China is quite well
prepared.»
After the formal designation of the swine flu outbreak as
a global pandemic on Thursday, Chinese Health Ministry
spokesman Mao Qun'an told a news conference that Beijing
will boost prevention measures, particularly at its border
points.


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