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Ten more H1N1 cases confirmed, with first two diagnoses in the north.

Byline: Anna Hassapi

EIGHT MORE confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus in Cyprus were announced yesterday by the Health Ministry, while another two cases were announced by authorities in the north.

State authorities yesterday reiterated that all incidents are of a mild form, urging the public to remain calm.

"The flow of incidents is fully under control and there is no reason for concern on the part of the community," a Ministry of Health announcement read.

Four of the last eight cases are Cypriots, but authorities are still refusing to identifying their origin.

The total number of cases in the south has thus risen to 48, while two cases of H1N1 in the north were the first to be announced.

Both patients are permanent UK residents, who are now receiving treatment at Nalbantoglu Burhan hospital in Nicosia north.

Commenting on the case of the H1N1 flu contracted by a soldier, the Defence Minister Costas Papacostas yesterday assured the public that all necessary measures were being taken at military camps.

"I am very satisfied with the measures we are taking and the measures we are considering taking at military camps and watch posts.

"It would be very difficult for us if this virus appears at military camps. The case of the one soldier concerned the contraction of the virus while he was outside.

"To prevent the danger of the virus spreading, we have sent him home. From then on the situation is absolutely under control. The preventative and effective measures we are taking are those that will have the best possible results," Papacostas said yesterday.

Meanwhile, DIKO MP and Vice President of the Pharmaceutical Association Angelos Votsis yesterday confirmed that there is a shortage of antiviral drugs in the private sector, caused by the prescription of the drug by private practitioners for preventative purposes.

"Although the private sector has received two batches of the antiviral drugs, there is a shortage at this period. Private doctors may prescribe these drugs to a patient who has health problems and will travel to a country that is facing a problem, if the doctor judges that this person needs to have the product at his disposal," Votsis said.

"To disperse these drugs through medical prescriptions to each one of us so that we all have them in our pocket does not, in my opinion, serve the goal, but in contrast creates problems to the state on how to face the wider challenges of this pandemic," Votsis added.

Copyright Cyprus Mail 2009

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Jul 1, 2009
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