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New Zealand abandons attempts to contain swine flu

world Updated: Jun 19, 2009 14:24 IST

AP
Highlight Story

New Zealand abandoned its battle to contain the swine flu virus today as officials said widespread transmission of the infection meant there were likely more than 1,000 cases nationwide.

Health authorities reported 63 new cases of swine flu taking the national total to 216 and Health Minister Tony Ryall said officials were moving to "manage" the spread of the virus after attempting to contain it for two months.

Thailand's Public Health Ministry, meanwhile, confirmed 71 new cases of swine flu, bringing the country's total to 589
cases, most of them in Bangkok.

Elsewhere in the region, Papua New Guinea became the second South Pacific islands nation to report a single confirmed case of the infection, after Samoa confirmed its first case on Tuesday.

Singapore reported 11 new cases, bringing its total to 77, but officials said all but two of the infections were contracted abroad.

A 27-year-old Australian visitor has been confirmed as the first case of the virus in Laos, the official Khaosan Pathet Lao agency reported today. The unidentified Australian has been quarantined but does not need hospitalization, the report said.

In New Zealand, laboratory tests to confirm the disease would no longer be automatically conducted on all suspected cases.