Health ministry anticipates more swine flu in schools

Cairo Governor Abdel-Azim Wazeer ordered the closure of a nursery in Cairo’s Gamaleya district on Thursday after two children were suspected of having contracted the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu. Wazeer also issued instructions to all schools in the capital to strictly adhere to the preventative measures laid out by the health ministry.

Assistant Health Minister Nasr el-Sayed projected an increase in the number of H1N1 cases found among school children within coming weeks. "This doesn’t mean we’ll suspend the school year altogether," he said. "So far, only three out of some 50,000 schools in Egypt have been closed."

Asked if the armed forces would be employed in the case of a major outbreak, el-Sayed said: "It’s possible, in the event that the civil bodies need an extra hand."

Local Development Minister Abdel Salam el-Mahgoub said his ministry would provide vehicles to help distribute supplies of swine flu vaccine and the Tamiflu drug treatment to hospitals countrywide.

In a related development, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif called for an overhaul of the Cabinet’s Crises and Disasters Management Committee in order to combat the disease via stepped-up precautionary measures. The committee is comprised of medical experts whose role would be to advise the competent governmental bodies in the event of a crisis.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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