BEIJING, Oct 31, 2009 (AFP) - China reported two more swine flu deaths on Saturday, bringing its total to six, days after the government warned the country faced an "extremely grim" situation battling the virus.
A statement on the health ministry website said the number of deaths from the H1N1 virus had risen by two, giving no other details on the new deaths.
Despite recording thousands of cases, China had reported no deaths until early in October, but the rising toll comes amid regular official warnings that this year's flu season would trigger a spike in cases.
The latest warning came on Wednesday from the nation's State Council, or Cabinet.
"In the coming period, the epidemic will continue to develop, and the prevention and control situation is extremely grim," said a statement by the State Council, which is headed by Premier Wen Jiabao.
As of Friday, nearly 45,000 cases of swine flu had been reported in China since it first broke out earlier this year, the health ministry statement said.