Flu toll rises to 44, with 6,776 infected.

July 22, 2009 by  
Filed under H1N1 Flu Watch

c1_20280_090716095927-150x1501The swine flu death toll has more than doubled from 20 last week to 44, while the total number of confirmed A(H1N1) flu cases has rocketed to 6,776, the Public Health Ministry reported on Wednesday. Health deputy permanent secretary Paichit Varachit said 6,697 patients had recovered. Thirty-five others remained in hospitals and seven of them were in critical condition.

Public Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai said he had instructed provincial governors, doctors and nurses nationwide to implement more stringent measures to curb the A(H1N1) flu outbreak. “Provincial authorities need to educate people about the disease and ways to protect themselves from being infected so they do not panic,” Dr Witthaya said. Government officials and employees of state enterprises with flu-like symptoms can rest at home without having to get medical certificates, and they would not lose their holidays and other benefits, he said. “Thailand’s ranking in the number of swine flu cases and fatalities has not really risen to fourth place, as other countries have stopped reporting on the flu situation,” the minister said. He also expressed his concern for people who go to watch the friendly soccer match between Thailand and Liverpool on Wednesday evening. People with flu symptoms should definitely not go to the game, he said. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the government will fine-tune and increase measures to combat the swine flu outbreak. The number of confirmed infections increased considerably last week as the virus had spread quickly throughout the country, especially in the North and Northeast, he said. “We must deal with the situation more quickly by having tougher measures to slow down its spread,” he said. Academics had predicted the new flu strain might infect up to 40 per cent of the world’s population, he said. “People should not panic if the Public Health Ministry announces that the number of H1N1 cases has soared to almost 50,000,” the prime minister said. Interior Minister Chavarat Charnveerakul said he had ordered provincial governors to coordinate with health and other agencies inĀ  setting up swine flu prevention centres in their provinces. He believed the swine flu outbreak would start to ease next month.

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