Here’s your weekly bird flu update: The vice governor and now hero of Zhejiang province stepped up to fulfill his civic duty by eating a meal cooked with chicken on Thursday to prove to everyone that the province’s poultry amid the H7N9 bird flu scare is okay and nine people in Guangdong province were detained for spreading rumors about the bird flu on the internet.
ECNS relays the news from local media that Zheng Jiwei and other officials from the provincial agriculture department and health department inspected a poultry processing plant in Fuying city and celebrated shortly after with a delicious chicken dish.
Pictures of the vice governor eating said chicken were posted online for all to see and are apparently supposed to qualm peoples’ fears as live poultry markets across 11 cities in Zhejiang will be permanently closed by July 1.
“I find that many people have stopped eating chicken, which means that they lack confidence in the poultry industry amid H7N9 fears,” he said. “Chicken slaughtering and processing businesses should turn the crisis into opportunity and change the business mode.”
Meanwhile, a man and woman from Guangdong, both 23 years old, were detained on Friday and will remain in detention for five days for posting rumors about the H7N9 virus on microblogs.
According to China Daily, one post claimed that a pregnant female doctor from Huizhou People’s Hospital died of H7N9 and doctors who had helped treat her were quarantined.
Another post said that more than 5,000 poultry and a number of people in Huizhou were infected with the bird flu.
Investigation by city officials found that this information was not true, so they detained the suspects and posted it online for all to see, apparently to qualm residents’ fears as another four H7N9 cases have been reported in Huizhou city since the first case last August.