Doctors step up screnning at TIA

KATHMANDU: A special Health Desk set up at Immigration Counter to take preventive measures to thwart the possible outbreak of Swine flu virus A (H1N1) has been removed to the arrival point at Tribhuvan International Airport on Saturday. The Desk was removed to the arrival point following spread of the virus to Asian countries.

"We shifted the Health Desk to the main gate of the arrival point to facilitate the screening of all the passengers, Nepali or foreign," said Dr Gajananda P Bhandari, epidemiologist and coordinator of the Desk. He said that the health personnel deployed at the Desk were screening passengers at the TIA for suspected cases of influenza since last Wednesday.

"The health personnel are screening around 250 people everyday," he said, adding passengers arriving from all the countries were being screened. "We used to screen the people arriving only from flu-affected countries, but with the spread of the flu to Asian countries we cannot afford to be lenient," he explained.

Sixteen countries including Hong Kong, have officially reported laboratory confirmed human cases of influenza infection since it first broke out in Mexico some two weeks ago.

The Health Desk at the TIA is comprised of one medical officer, two heath assistants and two staff nurses. Any suspected cases of influenza have not been traced yet.

The passengers arriving via the airport from any of the flu affected countries are required to fill up a Swine Flu- Health Screening Card to ensure that they have not developed symptoms of the flu. Any persons found with common symptoms of influenza like fever, cough or sore throat and shortness of breath will be referred to the TU Teaching Hospital immediately.