The Roche pharmaceutical company maintained its silence for the second day yesterday after Guangdong Public Security Bureau said it was investigating reports that the company had spread rumours over the recent mystery flu outbreak in the province. The illness caused alarm nationwide, worsened by people panic-buying drugs and basic supplies, which was later blamed on the circulation of rogue text messages. Yesterday, a Roche public relations officer said spokeswoman Gu Peihong was in meetings all day and would issue a statement when there were any new developments. The allegations against the company were made after the Southern Metropolis News quoted officials as telling a news conference on February 9 that a Beijing flu expert they consulted had said Guangdong's flu resembled Hong Kong's fatal bird flu outbreak in 1997. They claimed that their anti-viral medication, sold under the name Dafei or Tamiflu, was an effective treatment. A Guangdong foreign affairs spokesman said investigations into the Swiss-based company were still under way and that no information could be disclosed.