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Flu-flight passengers released

ALL 83 people who had been quarantined for a week in a hotel in Shanghai's Pudong New Area over swine flu fears were released yesterday.

Another 122 people who had been in close contact with the travelers and were confined to their homes for observation also were released.

Health officials said everyone who had been held was now be able to return to their normal lives with no need for additional medical attention.

The hotel where they stayed will receive a routine cleaning and will not need special disinfection, officials said.

In addition, all the Shanghai tourists quarantined in Hong Kong were also discharged yesterday, according to Shanghai CYTS Tours, their travel organizer.

Health officials said that some of the tourists returned to the city early this week and were among those released from here yesterday.

The precautions began on Thursday last week when an AeroMexico flight landed in Shanghai from Mexico City carrying a man who later was diagnosed as Asia's first case of swine flu. He showed no symptoms when health authorities checked his temperature at Pudong International Airport, but he developed a fever after going on to Hong Kong on a China Eastern Airlines flight and was later found to be infected with the H1N1 virus.

Following the disclosure, all passengers on the AeroMexico flight to Shanghai were rounded up and placed in quarantine, as were those on the flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong.

Most of the Mexicans who were held in China under quarantine were sent back to their home country on a charter flight on Tuesday.

The Mexican victim of swine flu has since recovered but remained under quarantine in Hong Kong last night.

No one held in Shanghai has shown any flu symptoms, including a group of Chinese tourists who visited Mexico and returned to the city on Wednesday.

The 98 Chinese who were brought home by a China Southern Airlines charter are being quarantined for seven days in a hotel in Pudong along with a Shanghai medical expert who was designated by the Ministry of Health to accompany them on the trip.


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