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Swine flu outbreak sparks national lockdown in Mexico

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Mexico has begun a nationwide lockdown today in order to contain outbreaks of swine flu.

The government has ordered the closure of government offices and businesses non-essential to the economy and told people to stay indoors until 5 May.

José Ángel Córdova, the health minister said that such drastic measures were needed to break the reproductive cycle of the virus.

However, essential services such as transport, policing, supermarkets and hospitals will continue.

So far, twelve deaths from swine flu have been confirmed from test results, out of a reported 176 deaths. Last night health authorities revised official figures confirming 300 diagnoses of swine flu among a total of 679 people tested so far.

However, Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said that the number of new cases has flattened out along with the death rate.

He said that it was ‘encouraging’ that public hospital intake is down from 212 patients with severe flu symptoms on April 20 to 46 patients on Thursday.

Mexico has around 1,300 people in hospital being tested for swine flu and has counted 2,500 suspected cases overall.

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