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China suspends flights from Mexico: state media

world Updated: May 09, 2009 14:45 IST

AFP
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China has suspended flights from Mexico to Shanghai, state media reported on Saturday, after a Mexican man who arrived in Hong Kong from Shanghai tested positive Friday for the swine flu virus.

"With a case of influenza A (H1N1) confirmed in a flight from Mexico, the Chinese government has decided to suspend flights from Mexico to Shanghai in east China," the Xinhua agency reported the Foreign Ministry as saying.

The report said China had notified the Mexican government and airline companies about the decision, quoting sources from the ministry.

"When the flights will be resumed depends on the situation of the pandemic control," it said.
The report also said that the Chinese government was considering sending a charter plane to Mexico to collect "Chinese passengers who had planned to fly to Shanghai from the city of Mexico on May 3."

The move by the Chinese government came as the first confirmed case of swine flu in Asia was recorded in Hong Kong on Friday, after a Mexican man who arrived via Shanghai tested positive, the territory's Chief Executive Donald Tsang announced.

The 25-year-old Mexican arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday from Mexico via Shanghai on China Eastern Airlines flight MU 505, Tsang said.

More than 300 guests and staff at the hotel where the patient had briefly stayed were placed under quarantine for seven days as officials announced "draconian" measures in a bid to contain the A(H1N1) flu virus.

The Mexican government meanwhile raised its confirmed toll to 15 dead and 328 people infected as the country began a five-day shutdown until Tuesday to halt the virus's spread.