Thailand closes schools, internet cafes to halt swine flu spread

Thailand closes schools, internet cafes to halt swine flu spread
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The Thailand government has ordered the closure of more than 1,000 summer schools for 15 days and asked the owners of internet cafes and gaming centers where young people play video games to shutdown for the same period in an attempt to halt the spread of A(H1N1), in the Southeast Asian kingdom.

The drastic steps will come into effect on Monday (July 13) in an attempt to stop the spread of the pandemic, which has so far seen more than 2,700 confirmed cases in Thailand.

Earlier today a year-11 school student who died in Khon Kaen Hospital in the country’s central-northwestern area of Isaan became the country’s 14th A(H1N1) death. The student had recently visited Bangkok to attend an examination and on his return home developed a high fever.

The school closure will affect tens of thousands of students attending tutorial classes preparing for exams later this year.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that up until July 6 there have been 94,512 cases of pandemic (H1N1), originally termed swine flu, with 429 deaths. In the three days prior 4,591 new cases were reported and 47 confirmed deaths.

By comparison the WHO says ‘seasonal influenza in the USA is currently estimated to be 25–50 million cases per year, leading to 150,000 hospitalisations and 30,000–40,000 deaths.



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John Le Fevre is an Australian national with more than 40 years experience as a journalist, photographer, videographer and editor.

He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.

He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.

In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.

Most recently he was the Thailand editor/ managing editor of AEC News Today . Prior to that he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.

In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.

Opinions and views expressed on this site are those of the author’s only. Read more at About me

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