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Americas

Mexico City lifts flu restrictions

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Latest update : 2009-05-22

Mexico City has dropped its five-level danger alert to green, the lowest level, signalling that schools, businesses, and transport could function as normal. Mexican authorities have lifted the official death toll from the flu to 78.

AFP - Mexico's swine flu death toll rose by three Thursday to 78, as the capital lifted all restrictions imposed last month when the deadly virus first spread shock waves throughout the country.
  
The A(H1N1) virus has infected 3,930 people in Mexico, according to a health ministry statement, adding that new cases were on the wane.
  
Only seven of the 78 who died from A(H1N1) had showed symptoms of the virus after April 23, when authorities determined that they were dealing with a new virus, the ministry said.
  
The official website for the country's sprawling capital meanwhile dropped its five-level alert to green, the lowest level, signaling that schools, businesses and transport could function as normal without extra health precautions.
  
Most children returned to school last week across the country, while a handful of states with suspected cases waited until this week to reopen.
  
"We can calm down now," said Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard in a news conference Wednesday, just weeks after the city virtually shut down, including restaurants, cinemas and sports venues, in a bid to contain the spread of the flu.
  
Mexico City's five-level alert scale descends from red to orange, amber, yellow and green.
  
Officials already dropped the alert level Wednesday from amber to yellow, even as the flu death toll continued to slowly creep up -- mainly due to tests on a backlog of cases.
  
More than 11,000 cases and 85 deaths have been recorded by the World Health Organization since the outbreak of A(H1N1) influenza emerged in Mexico and the United States.
  
The world remains at flu alert level five, signaling an "imminent pandemic."
  
The flu's impact was expected to cost the Mexican economy around 2.3 billion dollars, around 0.3 percent of gross domestic product, with tourism particularly badly hit.
  
Mexico has launched a 1.06-billion-dollar business support program to help counter the damage.
  

Date created : 2009-05-22

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