Monday, May 4, 2009

AP - WHO: "No plans for phase 6; Mexico says flu ebbing

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MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexican officials lowered their flu alert level in the capital on Monday and said they will allow cafes, museums and libraries to reopen this week. World health officials weighed raising their pandemic alert to the highest level.

Mexican officials declared the epidemic to be waning, announcing that Wednesday will conclude a five-day closure of nonessential businesses that was called to stop the spread of the new virus. Health officials need to finish inspecting schools before students can return to class.

In New York on Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the World Health Organization 'has no plan to raise the alert level to 6 at this moment.' WHO chief Margaret Chan also told the U.N. General Assembly by videolink from Geneva that 'we are not there yet.'

In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais published Monday, Chan implied the agency might raise its alert. She played down the impact of going to level 6, saying she was concerned about causing unnecessary panic.

AP - WHO: "No plan for level 6"; Mexico says flu ebbing

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