Ukraine flu death toll rises, foreign medical aid arrives
Posted by Xeno on November 4, 2009
The death toll from flu outbreak in Ukraine continued to climb on Monday, as medical assistance from other countries began arriving in the former Soviet republic.
Health Ministry figures placed the number of dead at 67. Swine flu was responsible for some but possibly not all of the deaths, according to Health Ministry officials.
More than 255,000 Ukrainians had registered with public health authorities as suffering from flu, of whom 83,000 were children, said Vice Health Minister Vasyl Lazorishinets told a press briefing.
Most of those infected were in Ukraine’s western provinces, adjacent to European Union nations Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.
Some 15,000 flu-infected had been hospitalised, and 170 were listed on Sunday evening as in critical condition, Lazorishinets said.
Four of those who died since the flu broke out in late October had were health workers, according to Health Ministry counts.
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko at a nationally televised cabinet meeting on Monday called for calm, saying her government and the country would deal with the health crisis effectively.
‘We have an epidemic of conventional flu, which is accompanied by a small number of swine flu cases … and one of our tasks is to determine which is which,’ she said. ‘At the same time we have to battle with panic-mongering by irresponsible politicians … and some government officials.’
Tymoshenko’s rival in upcoming Presidential elections, opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich, called for a parliament special committee ‘to investigate how it came to be that we have an epidemic.’ …