China pledges openness as it fights bird flu – SCMP

From The South China Morning Post, via AsiaMedia: Mainland officials say they learned lesson not to hide information after Sars outbreak.

The mainland has learned the lessons of the Sars outbreak and pledged complete openness as it fights bird flu in its multi-billion domestic poultry flock, a top Chinese official said, while Pacific rim experts met in Australia for a second day Tuesday to discuss ways of fighting the virus.

“From Sars, we see that no…information can be hidden,” China’s disease control director Qi Xiaoqiu said late on Monday through a translator while visiting the United States. “We have policies to encourage farmers to report possible outbreaks.”

The mainland was heavily criticised during the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome for initially covering up the illness. Now Beijing says it is committed to quickly investigating and reporting possible bird flu cases to the public and world health groups.

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