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China assures support of antiviral drugs to ASEAN members
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13:50, May 07, 2009

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· World moves to contain the spread of A/H1N1 flu
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The bilateral meeting between Thai and Chinese health ministers on Thursday yielded good results as Beijing ensured the support for influenza A/H1N1 medicines, said the Thai Health Ministry in a statement.

After the meeting with Chinese Health Minister Chen Zhu in Bangkok Thursday morning, Thai Public Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai said that they discussed the Chinese preparation for the antiviral drugs for the new strain of influenza. China is reputed as a major power with immense potential to undergo large-scale production of antiviral medicines.

The bilateral talks came right before the launch of ASEAN Plus Three health ministers' special meeting on Influenza A/H1N1, which is scheduled to be held on May 7 and 8 in Bangkok, involving health ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and the Plus Three countries -- China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The aim of the regional special meetingis to seek more efficient and collaborative measures to tackle thethreat of the flu to the region.

Witthaya told reporters that China has prepared for the possible outbreak, and that Chen assured if there is a major outbreak in ASEAN countries, China is willing to mobilize its support in terms of antiviral medicines as well as vaccine development for every ASEAN member.

Clusters of A/H1N1 flu outbreaks have appeared in multiple locations in Mexico, the United States and then across the world, taking the death toll of at least 31 since the first infection case was reported on 17 March. Hong Kong confirmed the first A/H1N1 flu infected case in Asia on May 1. According to the report of the World Health Organization, at least 1,893 confirmed cases have been found in 23 countries globally.


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