Many overseas media recently reported that the H5N1 bird flu has infected Hunan Province. Two siblings of the He family in Wantang Village, Shebu Town, Xiangtan County are suspected to have been infected after eating poultry in October. The 12-year old girl died, and her eight-year-old brother is currently being quarantined.
A number of sources in the village, including people in the Shebu Town Clinic, were convinced that the girl died of bird flu, based on October 27 interviews with reporter Xin Fei.
The villagers claimed that everyone knew about the situation. The news was being spread among the people, though neither the local media nor the local government had reported it yet. A villager in Hexia Village said that the town officials forbade them from spreading the word, but it was very hard to block the news.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the local governmental officials of Hunan Province all denied that the bird flu had infected humans. On October 27, Kong Quan, spokesman of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hosted a routine press conference. Reporters asked twice about deaths due to bird flu in Hunan Province. Kong Quan replied, “One hour ago, I inquired the Ministry of Health regarding the situation, the Ministry of Health has not yet received any reports related to death cases due to the bird flu.”
However, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO) office in Beijing, cast doubt on the various official statements that there is no evidence of bird flu, according to AFP.
“It is premature to say bird flu is under control. Scientifically or operationally, you can't say it is under control. The opportunity is always there,” FAO China representative Noureddin Mona told AFP.
Indeed, it is impossible to rule out bird flu until tests are done that disprove the circumstantial evidence, which clearly suggests avian flu is responsible for the death.
A villager reported that local residents are panic-stricken and do not know what to do. Another villager expressed that people are furious, seeing the government always covering up the truth that everybody already knows. Lying has become a habit of the government. Another villager expressed that the CCP never takes people’s lives seriously, and as a result, the people suffer.
The international society has already noticed the CCP’s efforts in covering up the truth and blocking information about epidemics. The WHO is presently waiting for more information from Chinese authorities.