It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
HONG KONG, May 2 (Reuters) - Travellers quarantined in a Hong Kong hotel for a week after a Mexican guest tested positive for the H1N1 flu expressed dismay on Saturday at the tough steps, while an infectious disease expert said the authorities had over-reacted.
Police wearing surgical masks sealed off the Metropark hotel on Friday night after test results on the 25-year-old Mexican man were confirmed, ordering approximately 200 guests and 100 staff to stay in the hotel for the next seven days.
The measures taken by the authorities in Hong Kong underscore the concern here about the new flu and the confirmed case, Asia's first. Hong Kong was badly hit by the SARS virus in 2003 and has had many episodes of H5N1 bird flu for more than a decade.
Officials said no one would be allowed to leave the hotel in the Wanchai district, an area popular with tourists.
Brice Chevallereau, a French tourist, checked into the hotel on Friday afternoon but did not stay the night. When he returned to the hotel on Saturday, he was told by authorities he would have to be quarantined.
"Why do I have to go inside?" Chevallereau asked. "I just stayed two minutes in the lobby. It's not fair."
PASSENGERS URGED TO COME FORWARD
The Mexican man arrived in Hong Kong from Mexico on Thursday following a stopover in Shanghai. He developed a fever after arriving and took a taxi to a hospital on Thursday evening. He is in a stable condition, officials said.
Authorities appealed for 142 passengers and crew on the same flight as the Mexican to report to health officials.
Lo Wing-lok, an infectious disease expert, said the government was over-reacting.
"He would have been infectious starting from the time he was on the plane. Think about all the people around him on the plane, while he was going through customs, waiting for baggage, in the taxi, in the hotel and when he got to hospital," Lo said.
"So how can it be effective if the government is just trying to isolate people in the hotel, it is a mission impossible."
Health officials said the "essential needs" of those inside the hotel would be looked after. They would also get regular medical check-ups and psychologists were on standby.