S. Korea to offer Tamiflu aid to DPRK

13:40, December 10, 2009      

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South Korea has decided to offer the anti-viral drug Tamiflu to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), after Pyongyang on Wednesday confirmed nine cases of A/H1N1 flu in the country.

The government and the ruling Grand National Party (GNP) agreed at a policy coordination meeting on Thursday to set apart a quantity of Tamiflu from domestic stockpile to help the DPRK deal with the outbreak of the new contagious disease.

If the DPRK accepts the proposal, Seoul will offer more than 10,000 doses of Tamiflu, government sources was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying.

The assistance will be provided swiftly considering the conditions in the DPRK, the government and the GNP said, but noted that details such as the quantity of the drugs to be provided and the concrete date of the shipments still need consultations between the two sides.

Government officials said they have sent a message to the DPRK to notify it of Seoul's willingness to help fight the new flu, and they are waiting for Pyongyang's reply.

The DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Wednesday that nine case of A/H1N1 flu were reported from Sinuiju and Pyongyang.

It was the first report of the flu breaking out in the country." The relevant organ is further perfecting the quarantine system against the spread of this flu virus while properly carrying on the prevention and medical treatment," the KCNA said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) office in Pyongyang was quoted by media as saying that patients confirmed with the new flu there were all children aged from 11 to 14 and have been quarantined after receiving doses of Tamiflu.

The DPRK received an emergency aid of 35,000 Tamiflu tablets from the WHO in May, but Seoul officials said the amount is not enough, according to local media.

Source: Xinhua
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