SEOUL, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's death toll from the A/H1N1 flu has increased to 33, as four additional death cases were confirmed linked to the new flu on Wednesday, the government said.
According to the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, an 89-year-old woman, a 60-year-old man and a 75-year-oldwoman died on Wednesday after having infected with the A/H1N1 virus.
Meanwhile, the health authorities also confirmed that the new flu has been the direct cause of death of a 59 year-old-man who died on Friday.
Earlier in the day, the ministry said the death of a 42-year-old woman who died on Sunday was also directly caused by the A/H1N1 flu.
The victim was not categorized as "high-risk" patients, the ministry said, but noted she missed the optimal treatment period as she has been experiencing a high fever since last Tuesday but came to the hospital three days later.
With the death case, the number of healthy people who have died from the new flu rose to five, as they had not been suffering from any other diseases.
The other 28 fatalities were either in their old age or suffered from chronic diseases, and regarded to be in "high-risk" groups.
Fears are growing in South Korea recently over the fast spread of the new flu.
On Monday, the country reported five death cases linked with the new virus, including three kids, posting the largest number of deaths reported on a single day since the epidemic broke out in the country in early May.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Wednesday ordered local governments to launch emergency programs to tackle the new flu.
"The government should keep an eye on the vaccination program so as to avoid any illegal transactions related to vaccines," the president said, according to the presidential spokesperson.
The president also urged efforts to speed up the vaccination program, through which about 35 percent of the country's 49 million people are expected to be vaccinated by end-February, a press release by the presidential office said.
The country began the A/H1N1 vaccinations on Tuesday. The first wave of vaccinations mainly covered medical staff and quarantine officers in hospitals designated as A/H1N1 flu-treatment facilities.
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