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HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's government on Thursday ordered all kindergartens and primary schools closed for two weeks after a dozen students tested positive for swine flu in the territory's first local cluster of cases.
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A kindergartener wearing mask as precaution against swine flu washes her hands before going into a class at a kindergarten in Hong Kong Thursday, June 11, 2009.
Territory leader Donald Tsang said 12 students at a local secondary school tested positive for the virus and that authorities have not been able to immediately determine how they contracted the sickness, indicating it likely has spread locally within the community.
June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong suspended classes at all primary schools, kindergartens and childcare centers for 14 days starting tomorrow after a confirmed cluster of swine flu cases, Chief Executive Donald Tsang said.
“The government is well prepared” and will monitor developments closely, he said in a televised press conference today. “There’s no need to panic,” he said.
Education Secretary Michael Suen said the government will decide on or before June 23 whether to continue the suspension of classes.
Hong Kong quarantined 351 people for seven days in a downtown hotel last month after the city’s first confirmed swine flu case. As of yesterday, the territory had 49 confirmed cases.
Hong Kong has 1,623 kindergartens and primary schools with a total of 506,600 students, according to figures posted on the Education Bureau Web site.