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Mexican flight gets the all clear

PASSENGERS on the first flight to arrive in Shanghai from Mexico since the swine flu outbreak have been given the all clear after being checked for flu.

Shanghai is adopting emergency measures similar to those used in the 2003 SARS outbreak to guard against the possible arrival of the flu.

Mexicana Airlines flight AM098 arrived at the Pudong International Airport at 6am.

The Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau took the temperatures of every one of the passengers and crew members on board with a portable infrared scanner. Altogether 176 passengers and 13 crew members were on the flight.

About 90 of the passengers were Chinese, about 50 were Mexican, and the rest came from other countries.

Ambulances and medical staff were on stand-by.

After the passengers left, medical workers sterilized the aircraft and left-over food, waste and rubbish were destroyed. The workers themselves were disinfected later.

Some of the passengers had traveled wearing masks.

A special route was opened for passengers and crew to go through customs procedures and it took them about three hours for customs clearance, nearly three times the normal clearance period.

Mexicana Airlines launched direct flights to Shanghai on May 29 last year, with two weekly flights departing from Shanghai on Thursdays and Sundays and returning on the same day.

The bureau said from now on, all flights from Mexico will be treated this way.


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