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Avoid panic while tackling avian flu: Rudolph Giuliani

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Feb 22 (UNI) Former New York Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani today called for greater public education, composure and avoiding panic to tackle the avian flu crisis.

Mr Giuliani, who is in the city to deliver the 15th Sir Dorab Tata memorial lecture this evening, when asked by some mediapersons to comment on the latest problem of bird flu gripping the country, to replied that the public health system should constantly monitor for symptoms and other indications of the disease and take preventive measures accordingly.

''One needs to work closely with pharma companies, not only to find cures for the disease, but also to ensure enough supplies of medicines during times such as this,'' he pointed out.

Mr Giuliani, who was the mayor of New York during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the twin towers, also added that he had held talks with Mumbai police on effective policing against organised crime.

He urged Mumbai police authorities to put in place an effective computer programme to measure crime statistics as ''this would help effectively deploy police personnel to control crime.'' ''Statistically monitoring of crime will also enable the Mumbai police evaluate the efficiency of officers,'' he said, warning that if statistics are messed with, then it might lead to corruption.

He also called for putting in place social programmes such as a shelter system and other facilities so that people coming to the city in search of livelihood were assured of atleast basic facilities.

''A city can handle only so much. If people are disappointed in the city and have no jobs or no decent shelter, then they take to crime,'' he said, adding ''hence, time and resources should be invested in this right now.'' To a poser, Mr Guiliani while decrying censorship, called upon the media to exercise self-restraint.

On the controversial cartoons in a Danish newspaper which has sparked-off global riots, the ex-mayor of New York said that ''it lacked taste and that restraint should have been exercised in publishing those cartoons.'' ''But the reactions to the cartoons have been much worse,'' he said, pointing out that ''newspapers make mistakes but these should not lead to killings of people or burning of buildings.'' On whether he would contest for the US president's post the next time, Mr Giuliani said, he had not yet decided on the matter and would give it a thought only next year.

''The next presidential election is due only in 2008 and hence, I will give it a thought only after this year,'' he said.

UNI JJ GK PG RN1808

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