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India's Health Minister Urges States to Contain Swine Flu


India's health minister is urging state leaders to do more to control the spread of H1N1 swine flu, as the death toll rises to 36 in the country.

Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday accused state governments of "forgetting their duty" in failing to combat the spread of the virus. He urged states to put more resources towards raising awareness of the illness.

Azad also told reporters that private laboratories will be allowed to test for the swine flu to ease the strain on overloaded government hospitals.

More than 2,400 people have been infected with the virus in India.

The World Health Organization has declared the swine flu outbreak a pandemic and says up to two billion people may eventually be infected with the H1N1 virus.

The WHO has stopped asking member nations for new reports of swine flu infections because there are so many cases. The U.N. agency's most recent tally, issued August 13, counted more than 182,000 confirmed cases worldwide. The agency says nearly 1,800 people have died after contracting swine flu.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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