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Page last updated at 11:06 GMT, Monday, 8 June 2009 12:06 UK

India on alert against swine flu

People suspected to be infected with swine flu wait for tests at  hospital in Hyderabad, India on June 7, 2009.
Hyderabad is the Indian city worst hit by swine flu.

India has issued an alert after two more people have tested positive for swine flu, bringing the total number of people infected in the country to 10.

Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said airport screening would be tightened and more testing facilities would come.

The minister said that India was fully equipped to deal with the outbreak and that there was no cause for panic.

The World Health Organisation says the flu strain has hit 64 countries and is most prevalent in North America.

Among nearly 19,000 infections worldwide, 117 people have died from the respiratory disease which is also known as the H1N1 virus.

'Tight screening'

"There is no reason for panic because we have taken all the precautions," Mr Azad told reporters in the Indian capital, Delhi.

"We have a task force which is monitoring the situation on a daily basis keeping in touch with the World Health Organisation," he said.

India has two laboratories to test for swine flu and Mr Azad said 16 more testing labs would be activated within a week.

"We have decided to tighten screening at our airports, specially of the passengers arriving from countries where swine flu cases have been reported," the minister said.

An official statement on Sunday said two more people had tested positive for swine flu, taking the total number of infections in the country to 10.

They included a 25-year-old man who arrived in the country by a British Airways flight on 31 May and sat next to a man who had returned from the US and tested positive for the virus, the statement said.

A 35-year-old man who arrived in Delhi from New York on 2 June has also tested positive for swine flu, it added.

Seven of India's 10 cases are from the southern city of Hyderabad, which also reported the first case in the country.



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