Maldives, March 24 (NIA) – The number of people tested positive for the H1N1 influenza virus in the Maldives has risen to 176, statistics released by the Health Protection Agency showed here Friday.
Seven more people tested positive with the virus on Thursday with 23 patients in total being hospitalized with H1N1 to date.
At least two patients have died from the virus with the Health Ministry putting in place strict measures to control the disease.
However the Health Ministry on Friday said that the number of people seeking treatment for flu had been receding.
The Education Ministry also in a statement on Friday said that it would reopen schools next week after it had been closed under the advise of the Health Protection Agency (HPA) due to the H1N1 outbreak.
However the Education Ministry urged parents not to send children to school if they had any symptoms of the flu.
The Maldives government recently said that the H1N1 virus in the island country was not similar to a swine flu pandemic.
It added that after the 2009 influenza pandemic, the H1N1 had been circulating as normal seasonal influenza and had been causing seasonal outbreaks every year around the world.
Therefore the government said health authorities were currently working with clinicians, health facilities and other related authorities to take measures to control the spread of influenza, as per its usual epidemic control measures.
Meanwhile neighbouring Sri Lanka said that its international airport’s quarantine division had stepped up surveillance for passengers with H1N1 influenza amid reports of a major increase in the number of people affected by the disease in the Maldives.
The Director of the Division said an increase in Maldivian passenger arrivals was likely after that country reported an outbreak of influenza and some respiratory ailments.
Sri Lankan Airlines also announced it had activated, on its flights operating in and out of Male, communicable disease procedures in accordance with the travel advisory of the Maldivian Health Protection Agency (HPA).
SriLankan said its crew would be wearing face masks and would provide a face mask to any passenger who wish to wear one.