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France to close all schools in flu pandemic

FRANCE: France's Minister of Education is ready to close all of the country's schools in the event of a major swine flu outbreak, a local newspaper reported on Wednesday.

"In case of a complete pandemic we are ready to close all of the schools in France," Luc Chatel was quoted as saying by Le Figaro, a Paris-based daily.

"No threshold has been fixed for the closing of a school. It will be adapted on a case-by-case basis," said the minister.

Chatel added that the mass vaccination of children was not yet an issue. French authorities have, over the summer, worked on distance learning materials that can be broadcast on television, radio and the Internet to help students forced to stay home keep up with their classes, he added. France has recorded around one thousand swine flu infections and one death, but authorities are concerned the resumption of school will fuel a sharp acceleration in the spread of the virus.

Paris, Wednesday, AFP

 

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