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AU to set up plan against swine flu

ADDIS ABABA, April 29 – The African Union is to establish a continent-wide mechanism to respond to a possible eruption of swine flu, a senior AU official said Wednesday.

The plan will be implemented in conjunction with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, the World Health Organisation and other bodies, the AU’s Peace and Security Commissioner Jean Ping said.

"We hope to establish a continental plan for prevention, and if necessary a mechanism to fight this outbreak that has not yet affected Africa," Ping said.

Already Kenya and Ethiopia have announced they will screen travellers entering their territories in addition to stepping up surveillance for possible eruption of the virus.

While Egypt’s lower house of parliament called Tuesday for the nation’s 250,000 pigs to be killed immediately over swine flu fears.

Authorities in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, have said they were ready to cope with an outbreak of the disease.

The swine flu outbreak that began in Mexico has raised fears of a global pandemic after suspected and confirmed cases were detected in parts of Europe, the United States and New Zealand.

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