"This is a new virus," health minister José Ángel Córdova said in an interview with MVS radio.
"We have taken these measures because this is a virus that has the potential to become a pandemic."The minister said most of those infected were in the Mexico City metropolitan area, which has a population of 20 million, although three other Mexican states have also been affected to a lesser degree.While he believed the situation was "very worrying", he also thought the epidemic was controllable.The impact of the preventive measures on city life was felt immediately as the population woke up to news of the epidemic, announced in a late-night statement.Radio and TV stations repeated official advice to stay away from crowded places "unless urgently necessary", and to seek medical help at the first sign of the very high fevers and acute respiratory symptoms associated with the illness.
At the city's biggest airport, airlines began requiring passengers checking in for national and international flights to fill out forms to help decide who could be at risk of carrying the virus. Anybody deemed to be a risk was reportedly being asked not to fly.Swine flu closes schools in Mexico City | World news | The GuardianEl Universal, el periódico de México líder en noticias y clasificados