China not yet sharing AI information: Update
China, which promised to share its avian influenza virus samples with
the World Health Organisation six months ago, still has not fulfilled its
promise, according to a WHO official.
, as well as scientists worldwide, say that open sharing of
virus information is needed so that efforts to develop a vaccine
can be continued.
In March, the Chinese government agreed to give WHO about 20 samples. The
organisation expected to receive those samples within a matter of days after the
announcement, but the shipment has not arrived.
"The logistical arrangements are there to ship those viruses. I don't fully
understand why the viruses at this stage haven't been shared," said Julie Hall,
an expert on communicable diseases at the World Health Organisation's Beijing
"To develop the vaccine and drugs, you have to have live viruses... China is
very important to the jigsaw puzzle. It has a lot of detailed information that
could be of benefit." By providing viruses, scientists could also analyze them
and pinpoint whether an outbreak in another country was linked to or originated
in China, Hall said.
A representative of China's Ministry of Agriculture's veterinary
department, Li Jinxiang, has said that Beijing wants "to conform to WHO
standards for international transfers", and that plans were in place to provide
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