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Another Russian Region Announces Swine Flu Emergency

ULAN-UDE, Russia -- A region in south-central Russia is the latest to have declared a swine flu emergency, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Vyacheslav Nagovitsin, the president of the Russian Republic of Buryatia, signed an order on November 4 that bans all mass gatherings and events in the region.

Every individual is also obliged to wear a surgical mask when in public.

Seventy-two cases of H1N1, or swine flu, have been officially confirmed in the republic.

In the Far Eastern Khabarovsk Krai, all theater- and moviegoers were ordered on November 3 to wear surgical masks, as are all those who work behind a counter and public transportation workers.

Officials in the krai say the number of people with flu and respiratory diseases is three times higher this year than it has been during recent years.

A similar regulation was also introduced in the Russian Baikal region of Zabaikalye.

Violators of the order can be fined 500 rubles ($17).