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Mexico City sends letters seeking international flu solidarity
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13:48, May 19, 2009

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Mexico City's mayor Marcelo Ebrard on Monday sent letters to world figures, including leaders, politicians and artists, seeking help for restoring the image of Mexico City, region worst hit and epicenter of the Influenza A/H1N1.

The letters seek to "motivate a Mexico City solidarity movement which will allow us to reactivate tourism and trade between the city and the world in a short time possible," Ebrard said.

Mexico City's tourism has fallen between 60 and 80 percent due to the outbreak of Influenza A/H1N1 that has affected 31 of the nation's 32 states. Earlier on Monday, the Mexican health ministry said it had killed 70 people and infected 3,646.

Ebrard said that 15 people worldwide had received the letters. These include the mayors of New York, Chicago, Beijing, Brasilia and Buenos Aires; the presidents of the Bill Gates Foundation, the Latin American Parliament and the European Parliament; Colombian singer Shakira and U2 star Bono; and the Director-General of the World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai.

The letters were also signed by the city's head of tourism and representatives of city's tourism sector.

Also Monday, the last group of schools resumed classes in the states of Chiapas, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacan, San LuisPotosi and Zacatecas, sending five million pupils back to their desks.

Mexico had closed all educational institutions from April 24 ina bid to prevent the spread of the lethal virus. Higher educations in the country has reopened on May 7 amid extra measures.

The schools opening on Monday also followed a sanitary cordon to weed out children with flu-like symptoms: headaches, muscular pain, a sharp increase in temperature and breathing difficulties.

Earlier on Monday, the World Health Organization reported the total number of flu cases at 8,451 worldwide, with 36 nations affected.


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