KUALA LUMPUR: Asean member countries must be transparent and not attempt any cover up if the bird flu is to be fought effectively, said Thai Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Kantathi Suphamongkhon.
No one should make any attempt to cover up anything. Let it be known and we can work together to solve the problem, he told a press conference on the sidelines of the 11th Asean Summit yesterday.
He stressed that it was top priority to have a workable network to fight infectious diseases like the bird flu and HIV/AIDS in order to minimise the threat.
We feel Thailand and Asean have been very active in fighting the bird flu and we will continue discussing it over the next few days.
Cooperation and transparency would be key, he added.
A regional fund was set up in September by Asean to combat the deadly avian influenza and member countries have pledged contributions to the Asean Animal Health Trust Fund, which would be used to prevent the spread of bird flu and other illnesses affecting animals.
Avian flu is currently considered the biggest single health risk facing the region since the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) outbreak in 2002, which spread from China to nearly 30 countries and killed about 800 people.