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Home News News Colombia declares state of emergency over swine flu threat

Colombia declares state of emergency over swine flu threat


Colombia declared a national state of emergency to combat the threat of the swine flu that killed some 150 people in Mexico and infected several in the United States. There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in Colombia so far, but through the state of emergency Bogotá hopes to have all the means necessary to prevent an outbreak.

The measure was announced Monday afternoon by Social Welfare Minister Diego Palacio, who said that the measure allows the government to have a budget "to try to contain and mitigate the impact that this emergency could generate in the country".

The government has earmarked 15 billion pesos (US$6.4 million) to start an information campaign and to purchase supplies to fight a possible outbreak of the disease.

Earlier Wednesday, capital Bogotá declared a yellow alert to have more hospital staff on stand by and be able to more thoroughly check travelers coming from Mexico.

The Red Cross announced to have 35,000 volunteers ready in all the country's 32 departments in case the flu hits Colombia.

So far, eleven people have symptoms that could be of the swine flu, but this can not be confirmed until in a few days.

The peso dropped more than 2 percent Monday amid fears the crisis will affect the country's tourism and export throughout Latin America.


Comments (1)Add Comment
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written by bob, April 28, 2009
State of Emergency? You must be kidding. Here in the northern coast, not ONE person wears a mask, NONE of the pharmacies or ANY of the hospitals has TAMIFLU and the airport is WIDE OPEN. Once Again, URIBE and his administration are caught with their pants down. And what are ¨They ¨worried¨ about? The People? OH NO, dead Colombians is no problem, it´s the consequences to the ECONOMY the Uribe Govt is talking about. Uribe strikes again !

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