|Bird Flu Declared National Extraordinary Occurrence|
Tuesday, 20 September, 2005 | 20:04 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The Indonesian government has declared the bird flu virus to be a national extraordinary occurrence not only in the special capital region of Jakarta.
The reason for this, according to Minister of Health Siti Fadilah Supari, is that the number of victims is higher following the case of Iwan Iswara, an auditor at the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK), who died together with his two daughters a month ago.
“At that time, there was only one occurrence, that of Mr Iwan and his daughters. But now, there are two others, that of Rini Dina and Mutiara,” said Supari during a meeting at her office in Jakarta on Monday (19/09).
Rina Dina died at Bintaro International Hospital on Saturday (10/09), while Mutiara is still being treated at Suliyanto Saroso hospital.
The national extraordinary occurrence status, said Fadilah, was declared so that the government and members of the general public would be more aggressive in dealing with the bird flu and the budget that has been allocated for this.
“We will immediately prepare 44 referred hospitals so that all regions are more active. This is a logical consequence,” stated the Health Minister.
The government has named six measures in handling the bird flu virus.
One, to restrict bird flu infection to animals.
Two, to socialize the bio-security activities carried out by the Health Department and the Agricultural Department.
Three, for the Health Department, the Agricultural Department and the Trade Department to monitor wider and more aggressively.
Four, to increase case management in order to detect cases as early as possible.
Five, to prepare 44 hospitals in order to treat patients suspected of being infected by bird flu.
Six, to prepare eight provinces so that they will have H5N1 early virus detection centers.
The government has already put forward Rp158 billion in funds to handle the bird flu virus.
“However, with the national spreading of this virus, we will need to improve our preparations in having collaborative laboratory such as owned by Hong Kong,” explained the Health Minister.
The national declaration of an extraordinary occurrence status, Fadilah said, was done at the authority of the central government.
“So, we do not have to compromise with the regions,” said Fadilah. (Ami Afriatni-Tempo News Room)