Indian dies of swine flu in Saudi Arabia

Indian dies of swine flu in Saudi Arabia

The three included a Saudi woman of 28 and a Saudi girl of 11, both of whom died on Friday, and the Indian expatriate man who died on Thursday, the health ministry said.

The ministry said that the spread of the A(H1N1) flu virus remains relatively slow and that fatalities are low in the country. Official infection figures have not been updated for nearly two weeks but reports put them over 700.

Saudi Arabia has been stepping up surveillance and treatment activities with the approach of the holy month of Ramadan, when normally hundreds of thousands of foreign Muslims arrive in the country to undertake the umrah minor pilgrimage to Mecca.

But hotels in the Mecca region are reporting large cancellations due to the fear of flu. Iran, Iraq and Egypt have all announced restrictions on who can travel for umrah, and the Saudi government has discouraged the elderly and children from coming.

Meanwhile Saudi King Abdullah has ordered that all cases of swine flu be treated for free, whether for Saudis or foreigners.

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