Military, financial boost for flu fight

As army staff were recruited yesterday to help boost the country’s defenses against bird flu and extra funds were sent to local authorities for emergency supplies, the government offered aid to neighboring Turkey, where a fourth suspected bird flu victim died on Saturday. The Greek army will send 200 veterinarians to 27 prefectures which have reported staff shortages, the Agriculture Ministry said yesterday, adding that three 10-member mobile units of experts are ready for dispatch to areas reporting suspect cases. Also, 1 million euros is being sent to prefectural authorities to spend on gloves, uniforms, masks, goggles, disinfectant and other supplies, the ministry said. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis telephoned his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul to offer Greece’s aid to Turkey following the death on Saturday of a 12-year-old girl believed to be the fourth Turk to have contracted the fatal strain of the virus. According to the ministry, Gul thanked Molyviatis but said Turkey did not require such aid at the present time. In an interview with Kathimerini published yesterday, the president of the Hellenic Center for Disease Prevention and Control (KEELPNO), Angelos Hadzakis, did not hide his concern. «The disease is moving quickly westward, and we are particularly worried about the fact that it will, at some point, reach our borders,» he said.

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