With the winter on the way, warnings have been sounded in China, the world’s most populous country that the situation brought about by raging swine flu epidemic was grim and number of cases could surge in coming months.
The warning was sounded by China’s health minister Chen Zhu who said the nation would this week launch a countrywide vaccination programme, but said the supply would fall short of demand.
Like India, the Chinese fear that swine flu could become more widespread in the winter.
The minister’s comments came as Beijing announced that it will vaccinate about 100,000 student volunteers, who have been selected to participate in country’s National Day celebration.
The officials claimed that the vaccination would be carried out to ensure that the event, involving more than 200,000 people, remains free from the pandemic. The vaccination will make China the first country in the world to do so, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The minister said that 95 per cent increase had been reported in swine flu cases and most of them were domestic, not imported and there had been a phenomenal rise in cluster outbreaks. China ha so far reported about 6,000 cases of swine flu but no deaths.
The Chinese are worried that there could be a second wave of pandemic with the onset of autumn and winter.