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Asia-pacific

China takes steps to stave off outbreak

Video by Nicolas GERMAIN

Latest update : 2009-05-02

As influenza A (H1N1) reached Asia, China moved quickly to curb an outbreak, isolating a hotel in Hong Kong, suspending flights to Mexico and dispatching a plane to Mexico City to pick up stranded Chinese tourists.

AFP - China is to send a plane to Mexico to bring back some of its citizens, state media said Saturday, after a man tested positive for swine flu in Hong Kong in the first confirmed case in Asia.
   
"According to a notice by China's aviation authority, China Eastern Airlines is to send an A340-600 plane on Saturday... to Mexico to bring back China's stranded tourists," the official Xinhua news agency reported.
   
The plane was to pick up Chinese citizens who had been due to head back to Shanghai on Sunday on an AeroMexico flight, but had been left stranded after China suspended flights from the flu-hit country, Xinhua said.
   
China took the measure after a 25-year-old Mexican man tested positive for A(H1N1) flu in Hong Kong on Thursday after arriving there from Shanghai, where he had transferred from a flight from Mexico.
   
The man, who is in a stable condition, was admitted to hospital in Hong Kong Thursday night suffering from a fever and tested positive on Friday for the flu virus.
   

The hotel where he had been staying has been isolated, and more than 300 guests and staff there were placed under quarantine for seven days in a bid to contain the virus.
   
China is now tracking down passengers who were on the flight from Mexico to Shanghai and is to put everyone under a seven-day quarantine, the health ministry said Saturday.
   
The Mexican government has meanwhile raised its confirmed toll to 16 dead and 381 people infected and the country is in a five-day shutdown until Tuesday to halt the virus's spread.
   
South Korea also announced Saturday its first case of swine flu, bringing to two the number of confirmed infections in Asia.
   
The flight to Mexico is to take off Saturday from Shanghai, Xinhua said.

Date created : 2009-05-02

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