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Mission accomplished for Dr Lu

DR Lu Hongzhou, vice president of Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, was relieved yesterday when a China Southern Airlines charter flight finally landed at Pudong International Airport with 98 Chinese passengers from Mexico.

All of them, the passengers, 20 crew and Lu himself were in good health on their arrival in Shanghai at 4:32pm.

He was the medical expert designated by the Ministry of Health on board to direct disease prevention and control issues for the mission to pick up Chinese tourists from Mexico.

"The whole procedure ran smoothly," he told Shanghai Daily last night from the hotel in Pudong New Area where he and the rest of the passengers will now spend seven days in quarantine.

"Passengers were very cooperative on board. All our plans to avoid possible cross infection were carried out properly."

Lu said all passengers' temperatures were checked before they boarded and during the flight.

"I tried not to bother them, many were very tired after waiting at airports in Mexico for several days," he said. "Temperature was usually taken at their convenience. Only two people with higher temperatures but still in the normal range underwent more frequent temperature monitoring, while all showed no symptoms of illness."

To avoid possible spread of virus through saliva, passengers sitting next to each other didn't eat at the same time. All passengers and crew wore masks and most took one Tamiflu tablet as a precaution. Stewards wore gloves and conducted proper disinfection procedures throughout the flight.

The plane left Guangzhou on Monday and landed in Mexico City on Tuesday to pick up 79 Chinese. Fog prevented landing at Tijuana on Tuesday but the plane made it there yesterday to pick up the remaining 19 tourists.


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