A retired man who grew up in China wanted to show his family the city where he was raised so they stopped off there last Saturday en-route back to Britain from Australia or was it New zealand. However, China’s swine flu quarantine programme has been stepped up at major international airports as health officials target aircraft from countries where the virus has been detected. Mr Aylott, of Norwich, said: "They came on board the airplane and everybody had to be swabbed. We seemed to have passed that test, but then they were getting passengers to stand next to a thermometer. "When Celeste stood next to it the alarm went off. Ironically, we’d been joking with her beforehand that they would take her away and then that was pretty much what happened." Mrs Aylott said: "The girls had a slight temperature and they insisted on taking the girls and their parents to hospital. When they got there it was appalling. They were put in a room with only one bed and a bucket to go to the toilet in. "They were kept waiting in a room and then they were told the littlest girl definitely had swine flu and they were pretty certain the other one had it too." The girls were then taken to hospital while Mr and Mrs Aylott went to another hotel. Mrs Aylott said: "The hospital they were taken to was almost derelict. It had filthy corridors and from the window you could see dressings and needles which had been thrown into the street."They simply refused to go in there and there was a stand-off for about four hours." With the help of Chinese friends, they managed to get the family quarantined to a motel, which they were taken to by ambulance. The family are now all together in the 168 Motel, where they are the sole occupants allowed on the top floor. Guards in face masks, sleep in one of the neighbouring rooms and monitor the family all day. They are now hoping to fly to Shanghai on tomorrow and back to Heathrow on Monday before returning to Norwich. Mr Aylott said: "We are just hoping they keep their word now and allow us to fly out on Saturday."
This story mirrors the concerns my friends had about my trip there earlier in the year. Who knows they may have saved me this families experience.
The UK now has the third highest number of swine flu cases in the world – 9,718 – after the US and Mexico. As of Wednesday, Mexico had 10,262 cases, and there were 33,902 confirmed cases in the US. 14 deaths have been reported in the UK. Yet people are still free to fly from here to the more infected countries of America, Australia and of course Mexico. Had travel restrictions been imposed in April these and future deaths would have been avoided. What is more important,the freedom of people to live or to have a holiday cancelled? When is a single persons rights less important than the rights of the many?