Public health officials continue to urge Nova Scotians to get a flu shot. The province has a reserve stock of 10,900 doses of vaccine on hold with the manufacturer. Most will be shipped to Nova Scotia and distributed next week, while some will be shared with other provinces through the national vaccine supply working group. “We are loaning 1,300 doses of vaccine to other provinces that have higher demand for flu shots, and the rest will come to Nova Scotia,” said Dr. Frank Atherton, deputy chief public health officer. “We encourage Nova Scotians, especially middle-aged adults and children under 5, to make use of this supply of vaccine and get immunized.” As flu season continues, there have been cases of severe illness and deaths across the country. Two Nova Scotians with some underlying health conditions have died of influenza. “Our thoughts are with the families of these patients,” said Dr. Atherton. “Unfortunately, we do see influenza related deaths in Nova Scotia. That’s why it’s important for Nova Scotians to get a flu shot to protect themselves and others.” The flu shot is free for all Nova Scotians. It includes vaccination against H1N1, among other strains. It is available from family doctors, family practice nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and clinics offered by Public Health Services and some workplaces. “We provided 435,000 doses of influenza vaccine this year, which is more than we’ve ever provided, and we’ve made it available through pharmacies as well as traditional places to increase the number of Nova Scotians who get immunized,” said Dr. Atherton. “Increased immunization, plus simple precautions like hand washing and coughing into your arm, help prevent the spread of the flu.” Regular updates on the flu season are posted every Wednesday on the Department of Health and Wellness website at http://novascotia.ca/dhw/cdpc/respiratory-watch.asp. The updates show trends in flu activity across the province. More information on the flu and how to avoid getting it is available at http://novascotia.ca/dhw/flu/.
Expecting to provide an impetus to defence cooperation between India and Sri Lanka and discuss issues of bilateral relevance, Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army, General Dalbir Singh Suhag arrived in Sri Lanka this afternoon on a five-day long official visit at the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva.A red carpet welcome ceremony, coloured by traditional Ves dancers greeted him on arrival at the tarmac at Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport. Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Commander of the Army, together with Mrs Nayana De Silva, President, Army Seva Vanitha Unit (ASVU) were at the venue to extend a warm welcome to the visiting India’s Army Chief, General Dalbir Singh Suhag and his spouse, Mrs Namitha Suhag. The delegation is comprised of the spouse of General Dalbir Singh, Mrs Namitha Suhag, Brigadier Gopal Gurang, Colonel Amitabh Jha, and Captain N.K Saraswat.India’s Deputy High Commissioner for Sri Lanka Arindam Bagchi, Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, Senior Liaison Officer, Commander, Security Force Headquarters – West, Major General Mahesh Senanayake, Military Secretary, Brigadier H.M.J.K. Gunaratne, Assistant Liaison Officer, Director Operations and Captain Prakash Gopalan, Defence Adviser at Indian High Commission were also at the airport to receive the Chief of Army Staff. General Dalbir Singh who had served the Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF) in Sri Lanka in 1987 as a Company Commander is the 26th Chief of Army Staff (Army Commander) Indian Army has produced and proudly commands the 1.3 million-strong Indian Army. During his stay in Sri Lanka, the visiting Army Chief is scheduled to call on the Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, State Minister of Defence, Defence Secretary, Chief of Defence Staff, Air Force Commander and a few others. He will also attend wreath-laying ceremonies at the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) cenotaph at Battaramulla and the memorial in Palaly, Jaffna during his stay in the isle.