Schools, colleges, malls shut in swine flu-hit Pune (Second Lead)

August 10th, 2009 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Pune, Aug 10 (IANS) The Maharashtra government Monday decided to close down all schools, colleges, cinema halls and malls in the Pune-Pimpri-Chinchwad area in an attempt to arrest the spread of swine flu in the region.
Schools and colleges will be closed till Aug 17, Pune Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar said. Similarly malls, where huge crowds gather, increasing the risk of spread of the A (H1N1) virus, also will remain shut for a week. Multiplexes and cinema halls are to be closed for the next three days, he said.

“The decision came in the wake of a high-level meeting organised by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, authorising the district administrations to take appropriate steps in the matter,” Pawar told reporters.

Following the announcement, the minister held a meeting of the district’s top civil, police, health and education officials. The decisions were prompted by the third swine flu death in the city — and fourth in the state in one week.

The victims from Maharashtra are a girl, a woman and two men, including a medico and a teacher. The total number of swine flue deaths in the country touched six Monday. A women from Nagpur succumbed to the disease in Singapore.

In a related development, two more Mumbai schools - St. Dominic Savio National Open School in Andheri East and Arya Vidya Mandir school in Juhu — were shut for a week Monday after two students were found positive in the Andheri school and one in the Juhu school.

The infected students have been admitted to a government health centre, according to officials.

Last week, the Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Bandra-Kurla Complex. and the J.B. Vachha School, Matunga, were shut for a week after some of their students were detected with H1N1 virus.

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