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The Weekly TelegraphIssue No. 927
Continued from Page 1 doing all the things that really we thought we would need to do when this pandemic arrived.”
Officials in Mexico – the centre of the outbreak – said there were 1,455 probable cases and 152 confirmed deaths. The country’s first suspected case was detected in the southern state of Oaxaca, Jose Angel Cordova, the heath minister, said.
Cases have also been confirmed in the United States, Spain, Canada, New Zealand and Israel. Dozens of other countries are investigating possible infections, with 70 sick people being tested in Australia alone. There are six reported cases in Ireland.
Senior civil servants met in an emergency session in Whitehall on Monday to discuss the threat posed by the disease.
In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish health minister, said: “The seven displaying, and I stress, very mild symptoms will now be given anti-virals as treatment.
“The 22 that are not symptomatic will be given very extensive advice about minimising the spread,” she said.
“The focus is on the immediate contacts. Effectively, what we are trying to do is put a ring around this. We are trying to contain this as effectively as we can.”
Alan Johnson, the Health
‘I’ve only got a bad back,
but I’ve emptied your
Secretary, told MPs there had been 25 suspected cases so far in Britain. Eight had subsequently tested negative for the disease. A Canadian woman was taken to hospital in Manchester showing symptoms of flu, but officials said it was highly unlikely she had swine flu.
Mr Johnson added that Britain was – with France – one of the two best-prepared countries in the world to deal with a potential flu pandemic.
In the Government’s pandemic plan the worst case scenario suggests that if half the population contracted pandemic flu there could be around 709,000 deaths.
Mr Johnson said: “Every
Christopher Robin and Pooh decided to have
Piglet put down.
where outside Mexico the symptoms have been mild and all the victims have made a full recovery.”
People who suspect they may have been infected should stay at home and seek medical advice over the telephone, he added.
The WHO has a team of experts in Mexico to try to establish why the disease seems to be more severe there than elsewhere.
Britons who have prebooked holidays to Mexico have been advised to check their insurance policies to see if they can claim the money back, although Thomas Cook and TUI have promised to do all they can to arrange alternative trips.
THE normally bustling streets of Mexico City were all but empty on Sunday with millions preferring to stay at home rather than risk catching swine flu.
A mixture of fear and suspicion set in across the country as the death toll rose and the government took an increasingly tough position to stop the spread of the virus. Many of those who did venture outside wore the blue face masks being handed out by soldiers at checkpoints along the main avenues.
“It’s like we’re in a strange zombie movie or something,” said Gerardo Garcia, a 23-year-old student, as he hurriedly stocked up on food.
“You don’t know who could be carrying this plague so it is best to just keep behind closed doors as much as possible.”
A closure of all schools, universities, museums and theatres was extended to bars and discotheques.
Health workers were overwhelmed with people reporting coughs, aching muscles and diarrhoea. In total, 1,300 people across
AP PHOTO/DENISSE POHLS
Mexico were in hospitals fighting the virus, with as many as 150 dying from it.
Among the city’s 1,000strong British expatriate community, Gavin Judd, 38, a teacher from Birmingham said: “My plans are to avoid going out as much as possible. If this is serious enough for the government to shut my school then I think it is a very real threat.”
Hugh Carroll, a 56-yearold investment broker from Glasgow, said: “I’m not worried in the slightest. It’s probably been overexaggerated.” Mr Carroll said he planned to go out as usual.
Some Mexicans shared his
view, alleging a government conspiracy.
“It’s probably all just made up to keep our minds off the global recession,” said Roberto Santino, a 60-year-old building site foreman.
He claimed that new government powers to fight the virus — including the right to search suspects and houses — were an excuse to trample on people’s rights.
But at the Santiago Acahualtepec public clinic Maria Angeles Garcia, 33, waited anxiously with her daughter, who had fallen ill. “I am just praying that she does not have this plague,” she said.
‘Stopdetaining failedchild asylumseekers’
The Government has been urged to stop detaining children whose asylum claims are rejected.
Sir Al Aynsley-Green, the Children’s Commissioner for England, called for an end to the practice of arresting children and holding them in immigration centres after an unsuccessful claim for asylum because of the harmful effects on their health.
In a report, Sir Al listed 42 recommendations to bring about a situation where the detention of youngsters was a “last resort”. He said: “Ultimately, we want any child who comes into contact with the asylum and immigration services to be treated fairly and humanely.”
A British intelligence officer, working for the Serious Organised Crime Agency, undermined a large anti-drugs operation in South America by leaving a computer memory stick in her handbag on a bus, it has been claimed.
The blunder risked the lives of undercover agents and their informants whose details were on the stick. Security bosses suspended operations in Colombia and relocated the compromised agents. The officer was recalled to face disciplinary action.
A British banker is in a coma and under armed guard in a hospital on New Providence Island in the Bahamas after being shot in the head in an assassination attempt.
Police say a man was waiting for Hywell Jones, 55, when he arrived at work at the Britannia Investment Group near Gambier Village on April 22 and shot him as he got out of his car. Police say Mr Jones, from North Wales, was “not a random target”.
Balloondrama Two Britons were among 16 tourists injured when a hot-air balloon burst after hitting a mobile phone mast on Saturday near Luxor, Egypt. Witnesses said the gondola plunged about 20ft to the ground.
NoisysexAsbo A woman given an Asbo after complaints of noisy love-making with her husband has been remanded in custody after allegedly breaching the order. Caroline Cartwright, 48, was given the four-year order which prevented her “making excessive noise” anywhere in England by magistrates in Sunderland on April 17. She has been arrested three times since after complaints. She pleaded not guilty but was refused bail.
Lotterynumbers There were no winners of Wednesday’s £2.7million Lotto draw, numbers 11, 21, 34, 42, 43, 45, bonus 20. There was one winner of Saturday’s £7.8million jackpot, numbers 7, 14, 17, 39, 41, 49, bonus 29.