Swine flu: Mexican inmates riot after ban on family visits

May 2nd, 2009 - 5:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, May 2 (EFE) The Mexican authorities have banned family visits at a prison here after the outbreak of the deadly swine flu that has already killed over a dozen people in the country.
Officials said clashes broke out Friday between two groups of inmates after authorities suspended family visits to the prison as part of a move to secure the place amid the swine flu threat.

“Since family visits were suspended, they (prisoners) were on the edge, not against the guards but with each other,” an official said requesting anonymity.

Television broadcast showed dozens of police personnel gathered outside the jail to control the situation following the incident.

The situation did not get worse as the prison guards moved in quickly to diffuse the tension, the official added.

The government announced a health alert after the swine flu outbreak in the country. Officials said there are over 300 confirmed cases of swine flu in the country and the number is rapidly increasing.

“We can’t allow 50,000 people (relatives of the inmates) to enter and leave the prison or we’ll soon have an epidemic,” the official said.

Mexican authorities said Friday 15 people have died of swine flu in the country, and some 300 people are confirmed to have been infected by the deadly A(H1N1) virus, also known as swine flu.

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