Tuesday, July 7, 2009
BUENOS AIRES, July 6 (Reuters) – Argentines are questioning the government’s handling of an H1N1 flu outbreak that has killed 60 people amid confusion over the number of cases and accusations that officials acted too slowly.
President Cristina Fernandez has sought to halt the spread of the new swine flu strain at the height of the Southern Hemisphere winter by closing schools and letting public sector workers to take time off.
But critics have chided her for going ahead with a congressional election last week and flying to Washington over the weekend to join a diplomatic mission to reinstate the ousted Honduran president while the flu death toll mounts.
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“The government’s clearly not handling this well,” said Leopoldo Fernandez Suarez, an engineer who has sent his two children to Patagonia to get away from the capital and its suburbs where most cases have been reported.
“I don’t pay any attention to what they’re saying. I don’t have any confidence in them,” he added.
A two-year controversy over accusations the government is manipulating key economic data for political gain has also fueled doubts about the extent of the outbreak of H1N1, which first emerged in Mexico and the United States earlier this year.
This article was posted: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 4:24 am