New Zealand abandons attempts to contain swine flu

New Zealand reported 63 new cases of swine flu Friday and said officials have abandoned attempts to contain the virus in the face of widespread transmission in the community. Elsewhere in the region, Singapore reported 11 new cases, bringing its total to 77, but officials said all but two of the infections were contracted abroad. New Zealand's confirmed case tally rose to 216, but health authorities believe the number is much higher, probably above 1,000, due to widespread transmission within the community, deputy public health director Darren Hunt said. Virtually all the New Zealand cases were mild, with only one patient so far becoming critically ill. The 30-year-old woman, who also has other medical conditions, was hospitalized in Wellington. More serious cases were expected once the virus spreads wider within the community, Hunt said.