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September 8, 2009

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China to tighten swine flu prevention

CHINA has pledged to strengthen the prevention and control of the swine flu virus in the run-up to the National Day celebrations, amid fears that the situation will worsen through autumn.

Schools are currently the key places in the country's fight against the virus, and classes should be suspended to avoid mass infection when an outbreak occurs, the State Council said yesterday.

"Currently the global epidemic situation is getting worse. As autumn comes, the number of domestic cases in China is also on the rise... The prevention and control work faces fresh obstacles," the Cabinet said in a statement.

Primary and secondary schools in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, remained closed yesterday in the wake of a recent outbreak of 43 cases of the H1N1 virus.

Similar outbreaks have been reported at schools in other regions, including the provinces of Henan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Anhui and Hainan, as well as the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The State Council urged railway and aviation departments to improve their emergency plans against possible outbreaks in crowded situations. Medical staff, technical equipment and materials should be ready at all times in case of an emergency, especially around the National Day, which falls on October 1, the statement said.

In addition, the State Council urged medical companies to stockpile vaccines and other medicines and ensure vaccine safety for human use.

As of late yesterday, the Chinese mainland had reported 5,592 cases of swine flu, including 3,852 patients who recovered and no fatalities.


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