France ready to close all schools to combat swine flu
France's ministry of education is considering closing all schools in the event of a major swine flu outbreak in September. Authorities are also currently working on distance-learning material to help students who may be forced to stay at home.
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AFP - 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.
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