China lifts quarantine on Mexican flight passengers
China on Thursday began lifting a seven-day quarantine for passengers on a flight from Mexico City on which a Mexican man was confirmed to be infected with influenza A/H1N1, state media said.
The Health Ministry said the passengers who took the same May 1 flight, which stopped in Shanghai on its way to Hong Kong, will all be released on Thursday if they display no flu-like symptoms, Xinhua news agency said.
Mexico raised its confirmed death toll from the swine flu outbreak to 42 from 29 on Wednesday, but the government says the worst is over and has eased curbs on commercial and public activity.
Twenty-five Canadian students were also released from quarantine in Changchun, capital of northeast Jilin province, Xinhua said.
The University of Montreal students had shown no flu symptoms but were nonetheless quarantined after they arrived by plane last Saturday. Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon signalled Ottawa's displeasure with their confinement and asked for an explanation.
An aircraft carrying 98 Chinese stranded in Mexico by the flu scare arrived in Shanghai on Wednesday and all on board appeared healthy though they will have to spend a week in quarantine.
Chinese President Hu Jintao and his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, discussed the flu crisis in a telephone call, Xinhua said.
"The Chinese president expressed sincere condolences over the A/H1N1 flu epidemic that has hit parts of the United States," it said.
"We are willing to keep contact with the World Health Organisation, the United States and other parties concerned, and strengthen cooperation to jointly confront this public health challenge," Hu was quoted as saying.