Sunday, 4 May 2008

Virus hits Beijing - cover up underway?

In addition to the obvious intrinsic sadness of this story if there was ever a bearish story to hit the China stock market then this is it. Developments need to be watched carefully although this is unlikely to be another SARS due to the nature of the virus.

China issues virus alert; 24 children dead [LA times]

BEIJING -- The Chinese Health Ministry issued an alert Saturday over a virus that has killed 24 children and sickened more than 4,000, as it scrambled to fend off a potential scandal over a coverup.

The latest victim of enterovirus-71 was an 18-month-old boy who died Friday in southern Guangdong province. A child who died April 25 in Guangdong also tested positive, the official New China News Agency said. The deaths were the first outside the Anhui province city of Fuyang, 700 miles to the north.

The virus also broke out in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam, but no deaths have been reported there.

The virus is a summer perennial in Asia, but the outbreak this year appears to be larger than usual. Because the disease usually peaks in June and July, more deaths are expected.

Kindergartens in Fuyang have been ordered closed until mid-May, and residents described an atmosphere of panic. The Liaoshen Evening News carried a large headline reading, "Death," next to a photo of a health inspection van parked in front of a kindergarten.

"There are noticeably very few children or infants on the street," said a 24-year-old Fuyang student who asked not to be identified. "Even some adults are afraid to step out."

../

4 comments:

Bill said...

The Chinese government is already fighting this virus rigorously. The first step was not to tell Taiwan about it. Taiwan is, of course, stopped by Beijing to join the WHO where it can get this kind of information. After making China the only source of information of this kind, China forbid to send the information to Taiwan.

This is a great example Beijing is showing to the world how they treat the weak minorities - with contempt, inconsideration, and underhanded.

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