NECF Malaysia "For Your Intercession" No. 10 – January 30, 2004 www.necf.org.my. (Last update: Mar 22, 04)
death toll hits 24
(16 in Vietnam, 8 in Thailand)
Psalms 50:15 "Call upon Me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me." (NKJV)
A BRIEF REPORT:
The World Health Organization has warned that bird flu has a higher mortality rate than SARS. Bird flu, also called "avian influenza viruses," is a form of influenza believed to infect all birds, especially the domestic poultry. Several instances of human infections and outbreaks have been reported since 1997. The first reported outburst in Hong Kong (1997) claimed 6 lives out of the 18 people who were hospitalized. Since South Korea confirmed the flu outbreak in December 2003, it has spread to Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Laos and China. Ten people died so far (Jan. 30, 04 The Star).
Although Malaysia is currently not affected, we cannot have a "tidak-apa" attitude (apathetic) but ought to be vigilant to take precautions in protective and preventive measures. Some people say that we should not be too worried because the disease has yet to reach an alarming level and appeared to be largely contained within the borders of each affected country. Still, we cannot be indifferent. Every life is a gift from God. If the virus mutates across large section of population in Asia, not only more lives will be lost, economy will also be affected, Malaysia will certainly not be exempted.
For more information on Avian Flu (Bird Flu), please log on to www.sars.com.sg
Let ‘s call upon the Lord and glorify Him when He sends deliverance in time like this.
Feb 2, 04 Death toll hits 12. Despite the slaughtering of 45 millian chicken in Asia, the bird flu continued to be on the rise, said UN Food & Agricultural Organization. (ABC News Online).
Feb 3, 04 Death toll hits 13. Indonesia confirms its outbreak is of the H5N1 strain. Thailand says a seven-year-old boy has died of bird flu. (BBC Online)
Feb 5, 04 Complacency over the threat of bird flu could lead to a RM50,000 fine and three-year jail term under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (NST)
A concern has recently been raised that authorities may have overlooked the cultivation and rearing of swiftlets in premises in towns. Residents and shopowners may risk being exposed to diseases.
Agriculture Ministry has issued directives to keep public informed and maintain transparency":
Feb 15, 04 Thailand announced its 6th death, a 13 y/o boy. He became ill after burying dead chicken that had died at his home.
- strengthen government interagency enforcement, even if it means borrowing manpower from other agencies;
- regular checks on poultry and other bird and animal farms;
- daily Press briefing on the overall situation (all district and State Veterinary Services Departments have been ordered to give daily updates on situations in farms, bird sanctuaries, wet markets, chicken abattoirs, quail farms and other bird farms);
- conduct immediate study on migratory birds;
- curb movements of pet birds nationwide;
- check on poultry slaughtering in wet markets;
- 24-hour surveillance and monitoring of situation by Agriculture and Health Ministries; and,
- maintaining all precautionary and pro-active measures until region is declared free of disease.
Mar 21, 04 In Vietnam, a 12 y/o boy who died on Mar 15, was confirmed to be tested positive for bird fly.
SUGGESTED PRAYER POINTS:
- Pray for the countries which are affected.( South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Laos and China). Healing for those who are hospitalized.
- Pray for cooperation among the Asian nations. Commitment and wisdom be granted to the authorities and greater transparency.
"Asian nations agree today to join forces and step up their fight against the bird flu outbreak" (Jan 29, 04 NST).
Pray for Health Ministry and Veterinary Services Department (VSD) for wisdom and expertise as they work together in monitoring the situation locally and abroad (Jan 30, 04 NST). The authorities are conducting tests in farms as well as areas where migratory birds converge.
Pray for poultry farmers to practice good hygiene and abide to the law. Government has decided to make it compulsory for them to apply for licenses and to register with VSD.
Pray for bankers to offer financial assistance to poor farmers to improve their infrastructure.
Pray for successful border checkpoints operation - custom officials be more efficient, alert and not succumb to bribery.
A joint operation will be carried out at the border checkpoints (Perlis) to enforce a total ban on chicken and cow from Thailand. "The anti-smuggling unit, the Customs and the Ministry of Agriculture are working very closely to tighten security at the border in respect of the importation or the attempted importation of smuggling chicken or chicken products," said Health Minister Chua Jui Meng. (Jan 27, 04 Channel News)
. Citizens should cooperate with authorities and not risking their lives for quick profits by smuggling.
Pray against unscrupulous practices & greed
Pray for protection and that all citizens be alert & well-informed.