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Outbreak of swine flu in Abkhazia

The public is frightened, but officials say the situation is under control

Abkhazia has been hit by an outbreak of swine flu with 49 cases confirmed thus far. This is a significant number for the small republic.

Authorities insist that they are keeping the situation under control, but the population is scared.

Among those infected are eight children under the age of 14 years. Most of them are students of several Sukhumi schools, though classes have not been cancelled.

“We appealed to the Ministry of Health requesting that at least the classes with sick children be cancelled for a period of one week. This would better protect us,” said Education Minister Adgur Kakoba.

The Ministry of Health says that although 49 cases of swine flu have been registered, it is “far from the number of cases which warrants sounding the alarm and declaring a quarantine”.

“According to experts we have already reached the peak and the disease is declining,” says Deputy Minister of Health Alkhas Konjaria.

He stressed that all the children who had swine flu were treated on an outpatient basis, and nobody was hospitalized.

“We have already received a second batch of antiviral drugs and antibiotics. All medical institutions in the country have been provided with these medicines, and any citizen can get them there for free,” said Konjaria.

On 11 January 2019 Abkhazia closed the border crossing with Georgia due to the ‘epidemiological situation’ in Tbilisi and in the regions of Georgia related to the outbreak of the H1N1 strain of influenza virus.

Since the beginning of the year, 13 people have died from swine flu in Georgia.

The border crossing from Abkhazia to the Zugdidi region of Georgia was reopened on 6 February.

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