Swine flu: Airlines turn vigilant

Swine flu: Airlines turn vigilant

Swine flu: Airlines turn vigilant

New Delhi: International airlines have finally started to pull up their socks. China Airlines on Saturday night informed health officials scanning passengers for H1N1 flu symptoms at the India Gandhi International airport about a sick passenger, well before landing.
The non-stop CA 947 flight from Beijing to Delhi landed at 1.30 am on Sunday, soon after which the airline staff informed health officers about the passenger’s seat number.
Officials then isolated the 29-year-old male passenger, along with five others who were sitting around him and checked for influenza like symptoms. “None of them showed symptoms. They were referred to the airport quarantine centre and a complete check up cleared all the passengers. The passenger who was originally ill had blood pressure related problems,” an official said.
“It shows how containment measures can be better executed if all airlines follow CA’s example,” the official said.
The incident follows a vital goof up by American Airlines’ Chicago-Delhi direct flight on Friday night, in which the in-flight staff did not inform airport health officers about carrying two passengers who had flu like symptoms, before landing at IGI. As reported by the TOI on Sunday, the two passengers were isolated by the airport staff during routine screening.
Meanwhile, joint secretary in the health ministry Vineet Chawdhry took an inspection round of IGI airport on Sunday morning to see how well passengers were being screened.
A decision has been taken by the ministry that all airlines coming into India will now be given a form to be filled by passengers which declare their personal details, health status and recent places of visit.
The airport health officer had written a letter to Airport Operations Committee chairman Perwez Khan on Saturday asking him to ensure that all international flights, coming into India from 17 international airports, have to declare passenger health status on time.

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~ by anand213 on May 4, 2009.

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