Chinese officials have confirmed the first Influenza A(H1N1) case on the mainland in the country's southwestern Sichuan province, a man who flew in from the US via Tokyo. Passengers on the man's flights are being asked to take quarantine measures.
AFP - Chinese authorities said Monday they had confirmed the first swine flu case on the mainland and were searching for scores of the patient's fellow air passengers, including foreign nationals.
The 30-year-old man surnamed Bao was hospitalised with a fever after arriving in Sichuan province in southwestern China on a flight from the United States via Tokyo and Beijing on Saturday, the Ministry of Health said.
"Sichuan province has confirmed a case of the A(H1N1) flu virus. This is our country's first case of A(H1N1)," spokesman Mao Qunan said in a statement on the ministry's website, using the virus's official name.
State television said the man was in stable condition at a hospital in the Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu.
Bao had travelled to Beijing on Northwest Airlines flight NW029 from Tokyo before connecting on a domestic flight to Chengdu, the ministry said.
China, which has already come under foreign criticism for its tough swine-flu quarantine measures, was seeking a number of passengers, including foreigners, who took the same Northwest flight as Bao, state media said.
They included 144 passengers on the Tokyo-Beijing Northwest flight and about 150 on the Beijing-Chengdu flight aboard Sichuan Airlines, state television said.
About 84 passengers from the Sichuan Airlines flight had been found, China Central Television said.
An unspecified number of passengers who took the Tokyo-Beijing flight also had been found by authorities, Xinhua news agency said.
It quoted Sun Hao, spokesman for Beijing's emergency response liaison office, as saying some of the passengers were foreign nationals who had since checked into several hotels in Beijing.
Health officials had contacted some passengers already and were "persuading them to take quarantine measures," it said.
The Beijing Morning Post newspaper said there were 75 foreign nationals on the plane, citing airport records.
The flu sufferer was transferred to an infectious diseases hospital in Chengdu and people who came into close contact with him during his medical examination had been placed under observation, Xinhua said.
Asia's first case of swine flu was reported in Hong Kong on May 1, when a Mexican national tested positive for A(H1N1) after flying into the semi-autonomous southern Chinese city from Mexico via Shanghai.
The case led to scores of people being placed in quarantine in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, including the Mexican's fellow airline passengers and almost 300 guests and staff at the Hong Kong hotel where he had checked in.
China has defended its strict swine flu prevention measures, saying they were necessary to avoid "catastrophic consequences" in the world's most populous nation.
But Mexico, the epicenter of the virus outbreak, accused China of discriminating against its citizens by quarantining Mexicans even when they came to China from other countries and showed no signs of the virus.
Date created : 2009-05-11