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All educational facilities in Kiev closed over flu outbreak

All education establishments in Ukraine's capital were closed on Monday until further notice due to a flu epidemic that has killed 53 people, according to the ex-Soviet state's Health Ministry.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchneko asked the international community on Sunday for assistance in fighting flu. Letters were sent to the leaders of Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Romania, Slovakia and the United States, as well as to the European Commission president and secretary general of NATO.

Ukraine has already received offers of assistance from Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Russia and Poland, including for the delivery of vaccines and medical masks.

Wearing medical masks has been a must in all catering places, shops and social services facilities across Ukraine since Friday.

Late on Sunday, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, presidential spokeswoman Vera Ulyanchenko and Foreign Minister Petro Poroshenko met a cargo of the Tamiflu antiviral medication arriving from Switzerland at Borispol airport.

The batch of 300,000 doses of Tamiflu, proved an effective treatment for swine flu, "is enough to supply all clinics and emergency medical assistance centers in Ukraine," the presidential press service said in a statement on Monday.

Poroshenko said a team of World Health Organization experts were due in Ukraine on Monday to help assess the outbreak of the H1N1 virus.

According to the Ukrainian Health Ministry, an outbreak of the disease, which hit Ukraine last week, claimed 11 lives, with other 11 people infected, but the number of unconfirmed cases and deaths could be much higher.


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