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H1N1 Flu Outbreak Halts Civil Defense Training

Posted November. 04, 2009 08:47,   


The rapid spread of the H1N1 influenza virus and the rising number of deaths prompted the government yesterday to raise the flu alert to “serious,” the highest level.

Accordingly, the Public Administration and Security Ministry set up today the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters with regional branches in 16 cities and provinces and 230 cities, wards and counties nationwide.

This is the first time for the national pandemic alert level to be raised to the maximum since the system was established in 2006.

Civil defense training will be also suspended from today. If the alert remains at the highest level this month, all civil defense corps members subject to remedial drills will be considered to have gotten the training. If the level is lowered this month, however, they must undergo the drills.

Of 3.96 million civil defense corps members, 650,000 failed to get remedial training on time so they were slated to get it this month. Civil defense training has been suspended for the first time since it began in 1975.

Separately, the Defense Ministry is considering a temporary delay in the training of forces and an outright ban on soldiers taking leave.

A ministry official said, “A working-level meeting was held on reserve forces training and military leave. Given the sensitivity of the matter, a final decision will be made today after an additional meeting.”

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