Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 11:58 UK

India tightens swine flu advice

Students in an isolation ward in a Punjab hospital after showing swine flu symptoms
India says it is fully equipped to deal with the disease

The Indian government is urging people not to travel abroad until swine flu in the country is under control, after seven more people tested positive.

The new cases come from the Indian city of Jalandhar where a group of students had recently returned from a trip to the US space agency, Nasa.

The total number of those infected by swine flu throughout India now stands at 30.

Last week the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global flu pandemic.

The swine flu (H1N1) virus first emerged in Mexico in April and has since spread to at least 74 countries.

Official reports say there have been nearly 30,000 cases globally and 141 deaths, with figures rising daily.

'Suspend visits'

Doctors in Jalandhar city said the affected students are between 14 and 17 years of age. One of them had already tested positive over the weekend.

They were part of a group of 31 students and three teachers who returned over the weekend after a 10-day educational trip to Nasa in the US.

Indian officials say they have tracked down eight people who were sitting near the group of students on the flight to Delhi from New York.

"They have been advised to watch for flu symptoms and take adequate precautions against possibly spreading the virus," an official said.

Federal health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has urged Indians, especially students, to put off travelling abroad until the flu is under control, the Press Trust of India reported.

"Till the disease is controlled globally, I would like to request young people from educational institutions going abroad that they can suspend their visits from the time being," he was quoted as saying.

As well as in Jalandhar, fresh cases of swine flu have also been detected in the southern cities of Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Earlier this month, India issued an alert against the flu and tightened screening for the virus at airports.

The government has said India is fully equipped to deal with the outbreak.

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