12:11 13.11.2009

Ukraine will not postpone Junior Eurovision 2009 over flu outbreak - official

The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2009 will begin in Kyiv on Monday, November 16, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Vasiunyk said at a session of the event organizing committee on Thursday.

"The members of the organizing committee have announced that Ukraine has entered the final lap in its preparations for this prestigious song festival. The final preparations will be made within the next few days, and the Junior Eurovision 2009 opening ceremony will take place on November 16," he said.

The deputy prime minister also ordered Ukraine's Health Ministry and National Television Company to set up an agency in charge of coordinating efforts and monitoring the epidemiological situation in official contest-related venues, catering halls and hotels that will accommodate Junior Eurovision 2009 participants, partners and guests.

Earlier, Party of Regions MP Anna Herman called on Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to cancel the song contest due to a severe outbreak of flu and acute respiratory infections registered in Kyiv.

"I call on the prime minister to come to her senses and to cancel or postpone the event because it is both irresponsible and criminal to put at risk the lives of children from around the world at the height of the flu outbreak raging in Ukraine," Herman said.

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