JAKARTA (Jakarta Post): The virus sample sharing deal between the Indonesian Health Ministry and the World Health Organization has been criticized after the ministry's repeated requests for the return 58 bird flu viruses have gone unanswered.
Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said Thursday the ministry asked for the return of the samples three months ago, but had yet to receive any response.
"We have been demanding the return of our viruses since August, but the WHO has never replied," Siti told a media conference regarding National Health Day, which falls next Monday.
Siti said Indonesia did not keep a stockpile of seed viruses because international regulations did not allow it.
"The regulation is actually detrimental to us, because it obliges the source country to give up all its samples." (Desy Nurhayati)