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Plane arrives for Mexicans held in quarantine

 Travelers arriving from overseas wait in a long line all wearing masks to go through quarantine at Narita International Airport in Narita, east of To...
 A Chinese security officer wearing masks as a precaution against the swine flu stands guard in front of a sealed-off hotel, where Mexican travelers a...
 Hotel guests look out from the window of the Metropark Hotel after police seal off the area in Hong Kong Tuesday, May 5, 2009.  Guests and employees ...
 Medical staffs wearing protective masks as a precaution against the swine flu, look out from the main entrance of the Metropark Hotel after police se...
 An Aeromexico plane chartered by Mexican government to transport Mexican travelers who have been held in quarantine at a hotel in Shanghai, takes off...
 An unidentified Mexican passenger, second from right, was transported to special entrance at Pudong International Airport to aboard a Mexican airplan...
 Mexican, Pedro Dias, 28, walks past journalists as he arrives at the Mexican embassy with luggage to catch a chartered flight out of Beijing, China, ...
 Unidentified Mexican travelers who have been held in quarantine at a hotel, are checked by Chinese inspectors after they were transported to special ...

Japan Swine Flu

Travelers arriving from overseas wait in a long line all wearing masks to go through quarantine at Narita International Airport in Narita, east of To...

China Mexico Swine Flu

A Chinese security officer wearing masks as a precaution against the swine flu stands guard in front of a sealed-off hotel, where Mexican travelers a...

Hong Kong Swine Flu

Hotel guests look out from the window of the Metropark Hotel after police seal off the area in Hong Kong Tuesday, May 5, 2009. Guests and employees ...

Hong Kong Swine Flu

Medical staffs wearing protective masks as a precaution against the swine flu, look out from the main entrance of the Metropark Hotel after police se...

APTOPIX China Swine Flu

An Aeromexico plane chartered by Mexican government to transport Mexican travelers who have been held in quarantine at a hotel in Shanghai, takes off...

APTOPIX China Swine Flu

An unidentified Mexican passenger, second from right, was transported to special entrance at Pudong International Airport to aboard a Mexican airplan...

China Mexico Swine Flu

Mexican, Pedro Dias, 28, walks past journalists as he arrives at the Mexican embassy with luggage to catch a chartered flight out of Beijing, China, ...

China Swine Flu

Unidentified Mexican travelers who have been held in quarantine at a hotel, are checked by Chinese inspectors after they were transported to special ...

A chartered Mexican plane arrived in the first of several Chinese cities Tuesday to collect about 70 Mexicans quarantined over swine flu fears in what their president denounced as discrimination and one stranded traveler compared to a kidnapping.
China, meanwhile, sent its own plane to retrieve Chinese nationals stranded in Mexico.
The plane landed in Shanghai about 1 p.m. local time (0500 GMT) to pick up Mexicans who were taken to the airport in ambulances from the hotel where they have been held since last week even though none have showed any flu symptoms.
The chartered flight also was to stop in Beijing, the southern city of Guangzhou and Hong Kong before returning later Tuesday to Mexico City.
One Mexican traveler under quarantine in Beijing described the tight security at the hotel where she and other Mexicans have been held since Saturday.
"There are soldiers who won't let us go past the gate," Mirna Elisa Berlanga told Radio Formula in Mexico. "This is like a kidnapping for us."
Mexican President Felipe Calderon complained of a backlash against Mexicans abroad.
"I think it's unfair that because we have been honest and transparent with the world some countries and places are taking repressive and discriminatory measures because of ignorance and disinformation," Calderon said.
China's Foreign Ministry denied Mexicans were singled out, saying it was purely a medical matter and that it hoped Mexico would be "objective and calm."
State broadcaster CCTV cited an official from the Chinese Embassy in Mexico as saying the plane it sent late Monday will pick up 84 people from Mexico City and 16 others from Tijuana and return to China Wednesday.
China has been accused in the past of not acting quickly enough to combat the spread of diseases, but has put a widespread action plan in place to stop the spread of swine flu.
A group of 29 Canadian university students and a professor have also been quarantined at a hotel in China since the weekend over swine flu fears. Canada has 140 confirmed cases of swine flu. The group does not have any flu symptoms, University of Montreal spokeswoman Sophie Langlois said Monday.
China had quarantined 71 Mexicans at hospitals and hotels, Mexico's Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinoza said. None of the travelers in isolation has swine flu symptoms and most had no contact with infected people or places, said Mexico's Ambassador Jorge Guajardo.
Xinhua cited Deng Xiaohong, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau, as saying the 20 people being held in the city, including 10 Mexicans, had come into "close contact" with the swine flu virus _ but provided no details. Xinhua said authorities were treating those in isolation well and none of those quarantined in the cities of Beijing and Shanghai and Liaoning province had presented flu symptoms as of noon Monday.
In Hong Kong, 274 people were three days into a week-long quarantine in a hotel after a Mexican traveler there was determined to have swine flu. Hong Kong's leader appeared on TV to apologize to them, and the government offered free hotel lodging and free Hong Kong Disneyland tickets to travelers who wanted to stay on after the quarantine as a gesture of thanks.
"We can appreciate the boredom, frustration and dissatisfaction that a quarantine may have caused you ... but to contain a virus which we don't know much about, there is a need for strict action when we discover the first case," Donald Tsang said.
One quarantined guest, Frenchman Olivier Dolige, told the AP he would be celebrating his 43rd birthday with a birthday party in his room later Tuesday. The French consulate in Hong Kong was sending champagne and French wine and hotel staff had promised a surprise, he said.
"The day has started very well," said Dolige, who was visiting Hong Kong for a trade fair. "I feel good, I feel very good."
___
Associated Press writers Mark Stevenson in Mexico City and Min Lee in Hong Kong contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-05-11 12:20 GMT+08:00