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4 new A/H1N1 flu deaths in mainland

The Chinese mainland reported four more deaths from A/H1N1 flu Thursday after at least eight people had fallen victim to the disease, the authorities said.

A 33-year-old man from northwest China's Gansu Province, who had tested positive for the A/H1N1 flu virus, died Wednesday afternoon, the provincial health bureau announced Thursday night.

Also in northwest China, a boy from Qingtongxia City of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region died late Wednesday in regional capital Yinchuan. Test result confirmed Thursday he was infected with A/H1N1. He was also the first death from A/H1N1 in the region, an official with the regional health bureau said.

The other two deaths involved two teenagers, one from north China's Hebei Province and the other from northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

A 14-year-old school student surnamed Guo, from Fuyun County in Xinjiang's Altay Prefecture, was treated at local clinics for fever on Oct. 30. He was transferred to the Fuyun People's Hospital Tuesday, but later died, said the regional health department.

Tests on Wednesday showed Guo died of A/H1N1flu, viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome, the department said.

In Hebei Province a senior high school student died on Oct. 29, local official said.

Eight deaths from A/H1N1 had earlier been reported from Beijing, Tibet, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Heilongjiang, Guangxi, Hunan and Zhejiang.

A 32-year-old Russian man died of the virus in Beijing Monday. He arrived from Russia on Oct. 28 by air and went to hospital on Sunday with severe breathing difficulties and other symptoms.

China's Ministry of Health on Thursday stressed that local medical institutions and schools should not charge students for A/H1N1 flu vaccine inoculations.

To effectively combat the influenza, the Chinese government has announced to provide students, medical staff, public servants and elderly people with A/H1N1 flu vaccine free of charge.

As the first country that issued a production license for A/H1N1 vaccines, China had inoculated more than 3.78 million people as of Oct. 31, with no reports of serious adverse reaction, according to the Health Ministry.