Police and customs officers on Romania’s border with Ukraine have stepped up their anti-H1N1 measures after Kiev claimed the virus in the west of its country had reached epidemic levels.
Romania itself is coping with a surge in cases of the virus, also known as swine flu , closing several schools and banning hospital visits to patients to protect the vulnerable.
After yesterday’s call from Ukraine for help, neighbouring Poland urged the European Union to act swiftly to send stocks of antiviral drugs.
The spread of swine flu has rapidly become an election issue in Ukraine, with presidential candidates vying with each other to be seen to be pro-active. So far the number of deaths in just one week from respiratory illnesses iis 70 but it is unclear how many of them are down to the H1N1 virus or normal flu.
In Italy the authorities have sought to reassure the public that the health system is well prepared as another death was reported.
17 people are now confirmed as swine flu victims. An inquiry is underway as to why the disease is so prevalent around the city of Naples. Experts say the peak will come in January.
While Turkey has begun the latest effort to start vaccinating its medical staff, the death toll there has risen to seven.
Along with front line workers, and at-risk groups such as pregnant women, people who are booked to travel to Mecca for the hajj pilgrimage have been given priority in the country’s vaccination campaign