Something must be cooking in Beijing

Why else would they suddenly close down all the poultry markets in town?

Authorities ordered all live poultry markets in China’s capital to close immediately and went door-to-door seizing chickens and ducks from private homes, as the government dramatically beefed up its fight against bird flu on Monday.

Beijing also announced that 6 million birds had been slaughtered around the site of China’s most recent bird flu outbreak, and the
World Health Organization said it had been asked to help in the reopened investigation of the country’s possible first human cases of the virus.

The escalation of anti-bird flu measures in the world’s most populous country came as a meeting of hundreds of international experts in Geneva opened with warnings that a global human flu pandemic is inevitable and could cost the global economy at least $800 billion.

“It is only a matter of time before an avian flu virus … acquires the ability to be transmitted from human to human, sparking the outbreak of human pandemic influenza,” WHO director general Lee Jong-wook told the gathering.

If this is a sign of pro-active steps to fight the bird flu menace I certainly applaud it, and hope we begin to see a meaningful flow of information. And then I want to see them close those killer markets in Guangzhou.

The Discussion: 9 Comments

At a meeting a fortnight ago the school suggested we take jabs to vaccinate ourselves from the virus. “But surely there’s no vaccination for the ‘flu” the Bio teacher offered. To this the secretary looked a her notes, thought a little and said “It’s for the others, and if you still get something, it must be bird ‘flu.”

November 7, 2005 @ 2:48 pm | Comment

CCP official: “Nothing is happening in China. No, we are just celebrating a festival that happens to occur only once every 800 years – ‘burn all the poultry because they’re extremely healthy day’.”

November 7, 2005 @ 3:25 pm | Comment

Raj, your “joke” is uncounted for in this case.

November 7, 2005 @ 5:17 pm | Comment

I’m with Richard on the Guangzhou thing.

Xing: many people have been making that point. How much of it is just fear-mongering? Trouble is, there’s only one way we’re going to find out how dangerous this threat is. If governments don’t prepare, and then find out that the threat is real, they are going to be slaughtered (along with the chickens).

November 7, 2005 @ 8:27 pm | Comment

Ughh. Does that mean I can’t go to KFC today? The number 2 here is particularly good. Seriously, that is kinda sketchy. Anyone in Beijing going to change their eating habits? I plan on getting some Peking Duck before I leave for……Thailand next Monday.

November 7, 2005 @ 10:00 pm | Comment

I’m in Beijing. I’m also scared now. Well, more than before, anyway. time to hide.

November 8, 2005 @ 2:22 am | Comment

A huge preventitive crackdown without sensible borders or boundries actually seems perfectly in character for Hu Jintao.

After all, he’s the man who decided that he was going to ban free discussion on the internet in case somebody came to the wrong conclusion at the end.

November 8, 2005 @ 7:09 am | Comment

there is really no border/boundary for migrating birds.

banning fowl in market makes sense.
i think killing millions of them is questionable.

November 8, 2005 @ 5:11 pm | Comment

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