Beijing confirmed the mainland's first case of H1N1 swine flu yesterday as health authorities nationwide searched for people who had close contact with the 30-year-old patient. President Hu Jintao called for enhanced vigilance and strict steps against the virus. 'We must attach great importance to the fact that the flu epidemic is still spreading in some countries and regions, and that China has discovered one case,' Mr Hu said. He ordered governments at all levels to put emergency response measures in place to prevent the disease spreading further. The patient, a Chinese student from the University of Missouri with the surname Bao, checked himself in at Sichuan People's Hospital after his Beijing-to-Chengdu flight landed at about noon on Saturday. The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the Academy of Military Medical Science confirmed him as the mainland's first confirmed case yesterday morning, Ministry of Health spokesman Mao Qunan said. Mr Bao was transferred to the Chengdu Infectious Disease Hospital for treatment. His temperature had returned to normal and his health had improved, Mr Mao said. Mr Bao's father, his girlfriend and a Chengdu taxi driver underwent medical observation at the same hospital but showed no symptoms, Xinhua reported. Health authorities are racing to find those who had close contact with Mr Bao. He flew from St Louis to Minneapolis and then to Tokyo on Thursday. Then he boarded Northwest Airlines Flight NW029 from Tokyo to Beijing, which landed early on Saturday morning. A total of 233 passengers, including 106 foreigners, were on that flight. Mr Mao said they were scattered across 21 provinces and municipalities. The 150 passengers on Sichuan Airlines Flight 8882, the Beijing-to-Chengdu flight that Mr Bao took on Saturday, were all Chinese. Authorities said they had found 138 of them by noon yesterday.