About 500 foreign tourists being sent home from China amid flu scare

About 500 foreign tourists visiting the coastal city of Qingdao in the eastern province of Shandong on Saturday were reportedly put on a plane out of the city and taken to Beijing. Provincial health…

About 500 foreign tourists being sent home from China amid flu scare

About 500 foreign tourists visiting the coastal city of Qingdao in the eastern province of Shandong on Saturday were reportedly put on a plane out of the city and taken to Beijing. Provincial health officials have warned that the numbers may increase, Xinhua reported. Five people in Shandong who had not completed a full incubation period of the influenza virus showed symptoms. According to the provincial health bureau, another 71 overseas tourists tested positive for Influenza H1N1 on Monday, with 58 of them diagnosed with the H1N1 variant.

In Qingdao and the neighboring province of Jiangsu, the authorities have closed several tourist sites to keep people from further infecting themselves. According to Xinhua, the city’s Olympic swimming venue, Qingdao Tongji University Swim Water Retreat Center, has been temporarily closed down “to prevent the spread of the influenza virus and promote its elimination.” The interior of the venue has been locked down, and access to it has been restricted to Chinese people. According to Chinese state media reports, the swimming facility is the third most popular with foreign tourists in Qingdao. In a separate move, the Jiangsu government also closed a number of remote tourist destinations, the South China Morning Post reported. At the Nanded International Park in Nanded Town in Jiangsu, the park has been closed down for two weeks. Not far away, the Datong Route 9 hiking trail in Datong Town, one of the more popular tourist destinations, has been shut down after 17 people who had not had all their flu symptoms had been diagnosed as being infected with the H1N1 virus. The details of the area of operations were not given.

The provincial health bureau, as well as Ministry of Health officials, have been furiously testing samples of the initial cases of the flu virus in an attempt to figure out the exact nature of the problem. No new cases of the flu virus have been recorded since Saturday, according to the Xinhua report.

Read the full story at Xinhua.

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