Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Tanzania swine flu crackdown at diamond mine

Tanzania map

The authorities in Tanzania have told about 3,000 workers at a diamond mine to stay at home because of swine flu - but the miners have refused.

Few workers have contracted the illness at the mine in Mwanza region but Tanzania is trying to contain the spread from elsewhere in the region.

Dozens of schools and businesses have already been closed down.

The BBC's Erick Nampesya in the region says the authorities may use force to make the miners comply.

Regional commissioner Abbas Kandoro paid a visit to the mine earlier with armed guards.

Our correspondent says the miners were very angry and they are refusing to leave.

About 3,000 individual workers earn their livelihoods from the mine, which opened about a year ago.

Tanzania recorded its first swine flu case in July.

But the authorities have been thrown into panic by a recent upsurge in cases in Mwanza.

Some 142 people in Ilula village tested positive for the illness last week.

Swine flu has killed at least 7,826 people around the world this year but some 98% of those who get it only experience mild symptoms and do not need hospital treatment.

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