The government of Indonesia has generously agreed to send a bird flu virus sample that has killed a woman in Bali to the World Health Organization (WHO).
A sample of the bird flu virus that killed a woman on Bali has been sent to a World Health Organisation laboratory to allay fears that it has not mutated into human form, Indonesian Health Ministry officials said.
Triono Soendoro, head of the Ministry’s research and development, said the sample had been sent to the WHO laboratory in the United States as a precautionary measure.
“We have sent a sample of the virus from Bali to CDC in Atlanta this week,” he told AFP, referring to the US Government’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Siti Fadilah Supari
Indonesian Health Minister
Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari was quoted by state-run news agency Antara as saying the Government has sent the sample to convince the international community that the virus has not mutated into a more dangerous form.
Siti Fadilah Supari said that the Bali bird flu sample sharing was necessary to prove that the deadly virus had yet to spread from human to human.
Besides, it was also important to avoid panic in Bali, which is a famous tourist destination in the world, she said.
So nice of Madam Supari to be so considerate about avoiding the panic in the world etc.
All this time we thought that she and her Government were just being inconsiderate, selfish and stubborn, in their policy of refusing to share the tissue samples of their citizens who had died of the deadly Bird-Flu virus, with the WHO.
Seems that we were all very wrong.
Mind you, there are those in Indonesia who believe that there has been increasing amount of opposition to Madam Supari, the Health Minister of Indonesia, from within the Government as well as from the health care profession across the country.
They point out that the above statement from the Health Minister came after the WHO accused Indonesia of putting the world at risk by failing to share its samples, but officials denied the move was in response to pressure.
Some critics of the Health Minister think that the recent Bali outbreak and the world wide negative PR that followed, was the last straw for many in Indonesia.
The result of all of this, they say, was a forced turn around of policy from Madam Supari.
After all who wants to go on a holiday to the country with the highest number of Bird-Flu deaths?
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