Malaysians Ignore Bird Flu Fears

Malaysian villagers on Borneo island are smuggling pet birds and fighting cocks from neighboring Indonesia, despite a government ban on the movement of pet birds and fighting cocks between Sarawak and Kalimantan.

Deputy Chief Minister and state Disaster Relief Committee chairman Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said the state authorities were disappointed with, and very alarmed at, their (could not care less) attitude.

The state Cabinet imposed the ban early last month as a precautionary move to prevent the bird flu virus from spreading into Sarawak from Kalimantan.

It is learnt that all major hospitals in Sarawak have been placed on high alert for possible bird flu cases, and isolation wards have been set up.

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