The A/H1N1 flu outbreak is leading to a potential diplomatic row between China and Mexico, as Chinese health authorities round up and quarantine scores of Mexicans — only one of whom is thus far reported to be sick — as they fly in on business and holiday trips.
Mexico’s foreign minister said Mexican citizens with no signs of infection had been isolated in “unacceptable conditions” in China. Patricia Espinosa told a news conference Saturday that such measures were “discriminatory and ungrounded” and that the government is advising Mexicans to stay away from China.
She also criticized four Latin American countries — Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Cuba — for suspending flights coming from Mexico against the recommendation of the World Health Organization.
More than 70 Mexicans are in isolation around China, according to Mexican officials, and that number is rising as Mexican travelers call in to their embassy to report their plight.
China has been rounding up all travelers aboard an AeroM√©xico flight that arrived Thursday in Shanghai from Mexico with a 25-year-old Mexican man, who is now ill with human swine flu in Hong Kong. He is the only known Mexican sufferer in China to date. However, Mexicans on other flights say they have been singled out for harsh treatment.