US declares Swine flu as national emergency

      The United States on Saturday declared the swine flu epidemic as a national emergency, following death of over a thousand people due to the deadly H1N1 virus. The White House has said that President Barack Obama signed a proclamation on Friday evening, which would allow doctors to bypass certain federal requirements. The decision to bypass the requirements will make it easier for the authorities to handle emergency cases. “The foundation of our national approach to the H1N1 flu has been preparedness at all levels - personal, business, and government - and this proclamation helps that effort by advancing our overall response capability,” the White House said in a statement. Swine flu has affected 46 States in the United States and has been more widespread than during the peak of the disease in June. So far it has claimed 1,000 lives, including almost 100 children.

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