Mexico is to reduce its state of alert following its deadly flu outbreak, but the stricken country now has to turn to another problem – that of restarting its hard hit economy.
Although precautionary cleansing measures are still in operation the authorities say the five day self imposed shut down of cafes, restaurants and other public places has successfully stopped the further spread of the new H1N1 strain. What Mexico’s president said the country needed now was an economic stimulus package and for others to end unhelpful discriminatory actions. President Felipe Calderon made a Live television broadcast last night during which he called on all nations, “…to stop taking actions which only hurt Mexico and don’t contribute to avoiding the spread of the sickness.” In the continuing diplomatic dispute between Mexico and China over the treatment of Mexican citizens caught up in the flu alert , embassy staff in Beijing have retrieved dozens of their nationals quarantined by the Chinese authorities and organised a special flight home. China’s response to the flu spread has also been to ban imports of pig products. Despite the virus being recognised as not being foodborne, around 20 countries have instigated a ban of pork coming from the United States, Canada and Mexico. Canada’s government is threatening to take China to the World Trade Organisation unless Beijing backs down from banning pork from the province of Alberta, where a heard of pigs was found to have the so-called swine flu virus.