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Mexico flu death toll jumps
2009-05-06 12:07:31

Businesses were closed for five days in an attempt

The Nation Press -

Mexican authorities have said the number of people who died from the H1N1 virus has risen to 42 from 29 as businesses began to reopen after a five-day shutdown.

Jose Angel Cordova, the Mexican health minister, said on Wednesday that most of the deaths occured several weeks ago but that tests had now confirmed the virus was responsible.

Health authorities have said as many as 176 people could have died from H1N1 in Mexico but that the true number of deaths may never be known.

The World Health Organisation says 1,516 people in 22 countries have caught the virus.

The authorities had ordered a five-day nationwide shutdown on Friday in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus.

Stimulus plan

Al Jazeera's Mariana Sanchez in Mexico City says the city of 20 million is now getting back on track following the crisis, with businesses reopening, although the city has lost about $2.2bn in revenue in the past five days.

However many places will remain closed - including universities, high schools, primary schools and churches - until at least Thursday, until authorities are absolutely sure the spread of the virus has been contained, our correspondent says.

Agustin Carstens, the Mexican finance minister, said on Tuesday a $1.3bn stimulus plan would be introduced to help the economy.

Special report 
Carstens said the government would launch a marketing campaign to lure back tourists and offer $380m in credits and subsidies for companies.

Felipe Calderon, the Mexican president, said the world should thank Mexico for its response to the new strain of flu.

"The frontline of the battle was Mexico, and we defended all of humanity from the propagation of this new virus," he said.

Mexico flew dozens of its nationals home from China on Tuesday, after they were quarantined by Beijing in a move the Latin American country criticised as unfair and discriminatory, sparking a diplomatic row.

A Chinese aircraft sent to Mexico to retrieve its citizens returned on Wednesday.

Source : Thenation press servecis
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