Extra vigilance is being taken at the Polish-Ukrainian border following the rapid spread of swine flu in Ukraine. Poland has urged the EU to swiftly send antiviral drugs to its neighbour.
With epidemic levels being reported in western Ukraine, the virus is threatening to spread to Poland, Hungary and Romania. Checks have also been stepped up at Romania’s border with Ukraine, as Romania fights its own surge in swine flu cases. The country has banned hospital visits to those suffering from H1N1. On Friday, Ukraine closed schools and banned public meetings for a three-week period, following the first swine flu death in the country. The ban will affect campaigning for the January 17 presidential election, as it also covers political rallies. The issue of how to tackle the virus is now taking centre stage for many of the candidates – each of whom is vying to be seen as proactive. The Ukrainian government have pledged over 43 million euros to fight the virus.