Sydney – Sixteen swine-flu cases have been confirmed in Australia, officials said Sunday. A 15-year-old Melbourne boy became the third in his school to test positive to the H1N1 influenza virus. Authorities ordered the school to be closed for a week.
In the state of Victoria, where 11 of the cases were reported, Health Minister Daniel Andrews reiterated his view that there was no need for Melbourne residents to be alarmed.
“No one that has tested positive so far is exhibiting symptoms that are any more severe than a normal winter flu,” Andrews said.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized to foreign tourists annoyed by the government’s response to swine flu. On Saturday a luxury liner visiting Sydney was held for five hours as doctors assessed the condition of its 2,000 passengers and 900 crew.
“I understand people are going to be inconvenienced by a number of these measures, particularly as it relates to schools and certain parts of the tourism industry,” he said. “But these are necessary measures … because we want to prevent a major outbreak and we want to do anything we can to prevent any deaths.” (dpa)