British Student Group Quarantined By Chinese Authorities Over Swine Flu

by Aruna on Jul 20 2009 3:28 PM

A teacher said members of a British student group quarantined by Chinese authorities over swine flu were "shocked" by their detention but were being treated well.

The group of 52 students and teachers were quarantined after four students tested positive for the A(H1N1) virus after arriving in Beijing for a study tour, the British Council said earlier.

"It was a bit of surprise to be detained at the airport. We have been in a state of shock," Ian Tyrell, one of the teachers leading the tour, told AFP by telephone from the hotel where the group was quarantined.

Tyrell said there were some Americans and other nationalities under quarantine at the hotel, some of them students, but he could not provide a specific number.

The hotel would not give a figure and city health officials did not immediately respond to queries.

However, Tyrell said members of his group were being well-treated and well-fed and were passing the time until the expected end of their seven-day quarantine on Tuesday by watching TV, studying and playing games.

"They are having a good experience. They are still excited to be in China," Tyrell said.

He added that two of the children who tested positive for swine flu had since rejoined their groups in quarantine, while two others were "doing well" in a Beijing hospital.

China has launched aggressive measures to try and detect swine flu, including temperature checks on foreign flights coming into the country, and has quarantined dozens of foreign nationals since the virus first emerged in May.

There have been around 1,500 positive cases of the virus in China, the health ministry said on its website, but no deaths have been reported.