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Ukrainian Hospitals To Distribute Tamiflu For Free

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (right) holds up packs of the Tamiflu antiviral medicine.
KYIV -- Ukrainian hospitals will start distributing Tamiflu among the population this week in an effort to help people who have the flu, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

The medicine -- which is known to be effective against swine flu -- was flown to Ukraine from Switzerland on November 1. Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko announced on November 2 that the Tamiflu would be distributed for free.

The Health Ministry said that the number of people who have died of influenza and respiratory diseases has reached 60 and the number of people suffering from the flu is 200,000.

Last week, Health Minister Vasyl Knyazevych declared a swine-flu epidemic in Ukraine and a quarantine was announced in nine western oblasts.

All schools and universities have been closed in those regions since last week.