All public schools in the Maldives have been closed to prevent the spread of the H1N1 swine flu virus after the number of cases reached 51 and a fatality was identified.
Less than 12 hours after insisting that the situation does not warrant closing schools, health officials told the press late on Monday night that the number of confirmed H1N1 cases has increased from 27 in the morning to 51 after more samples were tested.
Samples from 251 influenza patients have been tested as of Monday.
Upon reviewing the 51 confirmed cases, the authorities found that a sample from a 27-year-old man who died on March 4 had also tested positive.
“Additionally, there are 70 samples in the testing process today. Looking at our rate, when 51 out of 251 cases tested positive for H1N1 it means about 20 percent. So we believe we will find more cases in these 70 samples,” Dr Abdulla Niyaf said at last night’s press conference.
The national health alert has been raised to level three based on the “rapid increase of cases” nationwide since February, the discovery of severe disease among high-risk patient groups, and the death of one flu patient.
The education ministry decided to close schools for the rest of the week based on the advice of the Health Protection Agency. Schools were due to close next week for the half-term holiday.
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Source URL: Maldives Independent