H1N1 cases mushroom in provinces

Four schools and one nursery in the urban provinces of Cairo, Helwan and Suez were temporarily closed on Monday for 15 days after the appearance of several cases of the H1N1 virus, or "swine flu," among students. Meanwhile, 11 more cases were reported in the northern provinces of Alexandria, Daqahlia, Suez, Port Said and Ismailia.

In Cairo, Governor Abdel Azim Wazir ordered the closure of Al-Radwan Islamic School in Nasr City, the Helmeya Modern School in Ain-Shams and the Zahraa School in Old Cairo. He also ordered the closure of ten classes in Al-Khatib School in Ain-Shams; the Ali Bin Abi Taleb School in Matareya; the Rameses Girls College in Waily; the Mustafa Kamal Helmy School in Nasr City; the Mustafa Kamel School in Al-Marg; the Um el-Mo’menin School in Nasr City; and Al-Azhar Institute in Salam City.

In Helwan, Governor Hazem el-Qweidi ordered a 15-day closure of the Sakkara Language School in Maadi and one class at the Othman Bin Affan School in the city of Helwan. In the coastal city of Alexandria, meanwhile, an official committee devoted to monitoring the spread of H1N1 announced three new cases in Al-Hadaeq Elementary School on Monday.

In Daqahlia, a 23-year-old Malaysian student at Al-Azhar Mansoura University was reported to have contracted the virus. He is the fourth Malaysian student resident in Egypt reported to have come down with H1N1.          

In the canal city of Suez, Health Directorate Spokesman Hazem Shawqi announced the appearance of yet another case – that of four-year-old Nasser Abdel Fattah – at the Nour el-Hoda Nursery, which was also temporarily closed for a 15-day period.

In the canal city of Port Said, Preventive Medicine Department Director Adel Turk announced that a Bangladeshi worker had been quarantined in hospital after having contracted the virus. And in the canal city of Ismailia, Preventive Medicine Department Director Ibrahim el-Dessouki announced the appearance of another case, that of 30-year-old Saeed Ghoneim.

Finally, in the Delta province of Gharbia, four people – five-year-old Muhammad Abdel Aziz, 27-year-old Ali Saber, 34-year-old Hoda Hassan and 35-year-old Ibrahim Ali – were all reportedly quarantined after having contracted H1N1.

Minister of Education Yousry el-Gamal has issued a raft of fresh instructions to intensify field visits and inspections of schools and universities countrywide. He has insisted, however, that academic curricula would not be reduced or abbreviated as a result of the crisis and that final exams would be conducted on schedule.

The minister added that 12 public television channels were currently broadcasting school lessons for students to follow from home.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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