China swine flu quarantine 'could highlight medical insurance need' -
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China swine flu quarantine 'could highlight medical insurance need'

The Chinese health minister has defended the decision to quarantine all foreigners with flu-like symptoms, it has been reported.

Chen Zhu told the Associated Press the tactic had helped to reduce the effect of swine flu on the population and given scientists more time to prepare a vaccine.

When swine flu first appeared in Mexico in spring China put all Mexican visitors, or those who had set foot into the country, into quarantine for monitoring whether they displayed symptoms or not, claims the newswire.

The minister noted the country is currently vaccinating around 1.5 million people a day in an attempt to reach seven per cent of the country’s population by the end of the year.

Although this will not be enough for a population of 1.3 billion, "at least for the vulnerable people, for the students, people with underlying basic diseases and, in the future, for pregnant women, we have vaccines," he added.

In related news, researchers from Cambridge University have warned the UK should prepare for a shortage of intensive care beds for children with swine flu this winter.

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