• Kyodo News


The tally of swine flu infections in Japan rose to 342 on Sunday, as four more people, including a 19-year-old man in Toyono, Osaka Prefecture, and an 18-year-old male high school student in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, were confirmed as having the new H1N1 virus.

Osaka and Hyogo prefectures, where more than 310 of the confirmed patients live, plan to allow elementary, junior high and high schools to resume classes Monday after they were shut down for about a week.

The prefectural governments said the worst is apparently over, with recent figures showing that the number of new infections has slowed down.

They made the decision after the central government relaxed its flu policy Friday, allowing local governments to decide on school closures based on the situation in each area.

There have been no deaths in Japan related to the new H1N1 virus.

In other developments, Russia on Saturday added Japan to its list of countries that the government is asking its citizens to avoid, according to the Interfax news agency.

Russia has also urged its citizens not to travel to the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Spain. On May 19 it urged Russians not go to Osaka and Hyogo.

As of early Sunday, the number of patients worldwide stood at 12,462.

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