Flu deaths rise to 42 in Mexico


Mexico City : The number of people died from the swine flu has climbed to 42 in Mexico, authorities have said as the country began resuming its normal activities.

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The number of infections has also climbed to 1,070, Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said Wednesday, adding that three latest deaths from the AH1N1 virus occurred over the preceding three days.

He said that the majority of the deaths occurred before April 29, and so the authorities feel that the epidemic is tending to abate, a conclusion also suggested by the number of serious cases among the infected people.

Twenty-five of the 42 dead were between the ages of 20 and 39, and 68 percent of the people who died lived in Mexico City.

According to the latest information made public by Cordova, to date samples from more than 3,000 people have been examined to determine if they have swine flu.

The tests allowed authorities to verify a total of 1,112 cases.

“We hope they will be moderate”, restricted to specific areas and that they can be contained, he said.

“To speak about control means going for 15 days without a new case,” although that point is still far away, Cordova acknowledged later.

He also said he supported “continuing to strengthen the (preventive) measures”, and he remarked upon the need for “voluntary quarantine” by sick people for seven days.

After a five-day shutdown to contain the spread of the virus, this normally bustling metropolis of some 20 million people began returning to normal.

The municipal health secretary, Armando Ahued, told a press conference that for the sixth consecutive day there had been no swine flu deaths in the capital, where 60 people remain hospitalized with symptoms related to the AH1N1 virus.

Mayor Marcelo Ebrard thanked the residents of Mexico City for the “great effort” they had made in recent days that enabled authorities to confirm that swine flu infections appear to be on the wane.

“Now what we have to do is concentrate on carrying out the daily activities that they will begin to resume today (Wednesday) with the required precautions,” he added.

On Thursday, all high school and university students in the capital will return to class while primary and nursery school students will return next Monday.

Also on Monday, museums, libraries, convention centers, churches and other religious facilities – all of which are subject to the mandated health measures – will reopen their doors.

On the other hand, bars, discos, sports venues, dance and party halls, movie theaters, nightclubs, pool halls and auditoriums will remain closed until the alert implemented due to the virus has been reduced to the level of “moderate”.