In Mexico – where the recent swine flu scare first began – health alert levels are back to normal for the first time. No new cases of the disease have been reported there since May 14th and now the country is trying to rebuild its shattered economy.
The flu killed at least 74 people Mexicans where alert levels leapt from orange to red. But now Marcelo Ebrard, the Mayor of Mexico City said: “We have acted responsively during the emergency and we are continuing to do so. Green alert means that people are able to come to the city without any risk, just as it meant a few weeks ago when this virus was expanding in the city.” Back in late April the Mexican government moved to shut down much of public life and foreign tourists rushed to leave. But even though officially the danger appears to have passed local people are still afraid. One resident in the capital said: “I think that opinions are very divided. There are people who are still afraid, who are still taking precautions and there are people who say the flu never existed at at all. So to be honest: I don’t know what to tell you about whether people are still afraid.” Returning to some kind of normality can not come soon enough for Mexico’s crippled tourism industry. Only about 20 per cent of hotel rooms are occupied in the main coastal resorts.