Schools open in spite of flu

Schools across the country are to open as scheduled today, with authorities stressing that all necessary measures have been taken to curb the possible spread of swine flu. Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos yesterday noted that the incidence of the H1N1 virus in Greece was still «moderate and controlled.» According to Eleni Giamarellou, a member of the state committee set up to oversee the implementation of an action plan to counter swine flu, the operation of schools was not a pivotal issue. «Even if we shut down schools and keep children at home, we are unlikely to influence the course of a possible pandemic,» she said. Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos was upbeat, noting that kindergartens have been operating with no reports of suspected cases. School staff have been asked to provide authorities with regular updates on suspected cases and absences. Parents can call a telephone hot line on 1150 for more information.