Swine flu hysteria grows in Egypt

Published November 11th, 2009 - 11:43 GMT

Amid growing hysteria over a swine flew pandemic in Egypt, the Egyptian government Tuesday officially denied reports that nearly 20,000 Egyptians succumb to swine flu daily. The Ministry of Health currently puts the infection rate at slightly over 1,000, though many across Egypt have said that government figures grossly understate true cases.

 

Nevertheless, the government has taken measures to contain the virus. It has issued public statements warning parents of students to take precautionary measures against swine flu such as avoiding crowded spaces and maintaining personal hygiene.

 

Moreover, in a move that has brought criticism toward the government, Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif called for a ten-day extension of the Eid Al Adha holidays for universities and schools to further prevent the virus’ spread.

 

On Wednesday, Minister of Health Dr. Hatem El-Gabali announced Egypt’s sixth swine flu death. The news coincides with the arrival of 70,000 vaccines against the virus intended for distribution to pilgrims heading to Mecca to perform the Hajj at the end of November. The Egyptian government has expressed concerns that returning pilgrims will spread the virus across Egypt.

 

All in all, the latest death has added fuel to an already growing swine flu panic in Egypt. It comes amid countering claims of the virus’ true impact across Egypt.


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