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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 19:18, November 14, 2005
Japan works out measures against bird flu
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The Japanese government unveiled Monday plans against possible outbreak of the new type of bird flu, including stocking up antiviral drug Tamiflu.

The plan, issued by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, also calls for banning major gatherings, film showings and concerts, as well as allowing authorities to prevent people from attending work or school.

Under the plan, the local governments will set up task forces to work on initiatives based on conditions in their own areas.

The plan outlines six phases for flu outbreaks -- ranging from ordinary status to a world pandemic -- with the current situation defined as phase three, under which bird flu has infected humans in Asia but a dangerous virus mutation has not yet occurred.

The ministry updated the number of deaths in the worst case scenario from about 170,000 to some 640,000.

The amount of the targeted Tamiflu stockpile was boosted to 250 million capsules, enough for 25 million people, from the 150 million covering the inventories held by the central and local governments as well as the private sector.

The percentage of holdings by the central and local governments has risen to 84 percent from 20 percent.

In the face of possible shortages of the drug, the ministry has decided to give priority to certain people.

Recipients with top priority are inpatients, followed by infected medical practitioners, "people necessary to maintain social functions," people with certain health conditions, children, the elderly and ordinary outpatients, according to the ministry.

Source: Xinhua

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