Indonesia has a bird flu
death toll of 55 people – the highest count in the world.
Indonesia’s Health Ministry
head Siti Fadilah Supari said that caging birds was â€œa measure we have to take to be free from bird flu. It’s urgent and must be done as soon as possible.â€
No timeframe was given, however, and the plan will almost certainly face resistance from the owners of the nations’ hundreds of millions of backyard birds.
“We will start by demanding that poultry be kept in cages in urban areas,” he said. “If chickens are found walking free, then officials have the right to seize them.”
While most of the human deaths from the virus can be traced back to contact with infected birds, the WHO still fears the virus could mutate into a form that easily spreads among humans, sparking a pandemic.
Indonesia has attracted international criticism for not doing enough to stamp out the virus in its vast poultry stocks, and was told in August it would have to boost its own spending before receiving more foreign help.
, the United Nations’
coordinator for avian and pandemic influenza, said in the weeks that followed that significant progress had been made, with the government working hard to warn citizens of the dangers posed by the virus