By VOA News
25 May 2009
Campaign to revive its tourism industry, which has suffered as a result of the A-H1N1 swine flu outbreak.
Mexican celebrities joined President Felipe Calderon Monday in Mexico City as he announced the new campaign, called "Vive Mexico" (Long Live Mexico). The Mexican leader said Vive Mexico is not just a promotional campaign, but a national movement requiring the participation of all Mexicans, especially those who are most well-known.
Other celebrities, including Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, Mexican actor Diego Luna and Mexican football player Rafael Marquez, are expected to take part in the campaign to draw visitors back to Mexico.
There have been more than 4,100 confirmed cases of swine flu in Mexico, with 83 deaths. The outbreak forced the closure of schools, restaurants and other public venues, and its total cost to the Mexican economy is expected to be $2.2 billion.
The World Health Organization says 46 countries have officially reported more than 12,510 cases of swine-flu infection. Authorities in the Mexican state of Veracruz say they will soon erect a statue of the 5-year-old boy, Edgar Hernandez, who is believed to be Mexico's earliest confirmed case of swine flu. The child recovered from the illness, and the bronze monument is intended to be a symbol of hope.