Swine Flu Spread in China ‘Grim’
China is the first country to offer a swine flu (H1N1) vaccine so far, and the BBC reports that those attending the 60th National Day celebrations are first on the list to be immunized:
There are at least 200,000 official participants, plus thousands of security police.
According to the BBC’s China analyst, Shirong Chen, they have been pushed to the front of the queue not just because it is a huge public event that carries national pride, but because all the top leaders and dignitaries will be in Beijing.
The authorities cannot afford the political risk of any infection there, our correspondent says.
So there will not be much vaccine left for others on the priority list for now.
Reuters also has an update on the spread of swine flu in China:
China has reported 5,592 cases of H1N1 flu, from which 3,852 people have recovered. No-one has died in China, although a patient in Shanghai is in a coma, with multiple organ failure.
“There are some recent developments in H1N1 in China that mean we are facing a grim situation,” said Chen Zhu, one of only two ministers in China who do not belong to the Communist Party.
He listed a rapid surge in domestic cases, after an initial phase when most cases in China were of foreigners who arrived with the disease. Since the beginning of September, there has also been a spike in the number of clusters of outbreaks, which now number 128.