October 25, 2009
Ankara schools closed over swine flu fears
Soon after Turkish health officials reported the country’s first swine flu death, Ankara’s governor ordered the closure of all schools in the city.
Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag reported on Saturday that some 958 individuals had tested positive for the virus.
Officials added that the deadly H1N1 virus has claimed the life of a 28-year-old patient, reportedly a cleaner in an Ankara hospital, making him the country’s first swine flu victim.
Governor Kemal Onal, later on, announced that the schools would remain closed for the duration of one week starting Monday.
Earlier, dozens of students from different schools in different cities such as Istanbul had tested positive for A/H1N1; many primary and secondary schools, therefore, were closed for a week in regions such as the southeastern province of Diyarbakir.
Turkish Minister of Education Nimet Cubukçu stated on Friday that all elementary school students would soon receive a swine flu vaccine.
Health officials stressed that random tests would be performed on the first 500,000 doses of swine flu vaccine received on Monday before starting mass vaccination campaigns in early November.
They added that the country plans to buy a total of 43 million doses sufficient to vaccinate some 28 million individuals in the country.
Medical workers followed by at-risk groups consisting of pregnant women, young children and those suffering from diabetes, heart conditions and immunodeficiency diseases will be among the first to receive the vaccine.