The French government has raised the alert level for the influenza A (H1N1) “as a precaution”, after the World Health Organisation highlighted the threat of an “imminent” pandemic. Five unconfirmed cases of the virus have been identified in France.
“Even if France does not have an epidemic, we have decided to take the precaution of entering phase five of our preparation, namely mobilising state resources,” said French Prime Minister François Fillion at a meeting with cabinet ministers and experts.
French authorities are also following WHO guidelines, under which the alert level was raised to five on a scale of six. In France, the level has been designated 5A, with 5B representing a true epidemic.
Earlier on Thursday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said: “All measures have been taken, we are meeting daily. We must be very, very vigilant, anticipate, and organise.”