Argentina suspends flights from Mexico over swine flu

BUENOS AIRES Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:31am BST

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BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The Argentine government suspended flights from Mexico on Tuesday, the second country to restrict travel as a precaution against the spread of an outbreak of swine flu.

The ban applies to direct flights from Mexico and takes effect on Wednesday until Monday, Cabinet Chief Sergio Massa told reporters.

Argentina's decision came hours after the Cuban government suspended flights to and from Mexico for 48 hours as a precaution to prevent the virus from reaching the Caribbean island.

There have been no confirmed cases in Argentina of swine flu, which is blamed in the deaths of 149 people in Mexico and has the potential to turn into a world pandemic.

The government also announced plans to install heat sensors at Argentina's main international airport to track passengers' body temperatures and tighten controls at the country's ports and border crossings.

Flights departing from Mexico that make a stopover before arriving in Argentina will continue as scheduled, Massa said.

The measures follow criticism by opposition leaders that the government was slow to respond to a recent outbreak of dengue, which affected some 20,000 people across Argentina.

(Reporting by Lucas Bergman; Writing by Kevin Gray; editing by Todd Eastham)

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