Ukraine battles deadly outbreak of swine flu - watch on -
Society10:04 Jan. 21, 2016

Ukraine battles deadly outbreak of swine flu

12 people have died in eastern regions occupied by Russian-backed militants

Ukraine is fighting an outbreak of swine flu. Across the country, at least 51 people have died as a result of the virus. Here in east Ukraine 12 people have lost their lives. This region is beyond the control of the government. It is occupied by Russian-backed militants. At one local hospital doctors say they lack crucial drugs.

Elena Baun, senior doctor at Donetsk hospital: "The supply of medication today is enough in general. The only thing we are short of is anti-virus medication - Tamiflu - which is in drug stores today, but, unfortunately, we do not have it in the hospital. That's why patients have to buy it themselves."

Read also Ukraine Flu Virus: Death toll rises to over 50

Residents of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic are doing what they can to stay healthy. They often queue at local pharmacies to buy respiratory masks and medicine. Ukraine's Health Minister says the situation in occupied eastern regions is more severe than elsehwere in the country.

Alexander Kvitashvili, Health Minister: "The situation is awful there with medicine and infrastructure. We need to understand that, unfortunately, those good high-tech centres which were built are either not functional or were blown up or robbed."

Schools in Ukraine have been closed since January 16. Authorities hope such measures will stop the H1N1 virus from spreading.

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