Health authorities stirred into action

KATHMANDU: The government has adopted tough measures to combat the outbreak of swine flu pandemic. The move comes in the wake of three confirmed cases of flu.

Manas Benarjee, director-coordinator at Avian Influenza Control Project, said they were working round-the-clock to thwart the spread of contagious disease and staying in touch with community health centres and district, regional and national hospitals to speed up the drive against flu.

“In addition to intensifying surveillance at all Early Warning and Response Systems sites and alerting the district, regional and central Rapid Response Teams (RRTs), we have taken extra measures to ensure adequate preparedness if

more cases come to light anywhere in the country,”

he said.

Banerjee added that

they were considering to

set up an isolation ward in

all district hospitals to

bolster the fight against


“Isolation wards are the need of hour in the backdrop of global pandemic,” he said. He added that they would launch public awareness campaigns at the community level to track down the suspected cases.

AICP and Epidemology and Disease Control Division under Ministry of Health and Population, in association with international agencies, have dispatched the required number of Tamiflu tablets to the referral hospitals.

Dr Senedra Raj Upreti urged the public not to panic, as they were adopting nationwide preventive measures with due care.

Meanwhile, a special Health Desk set up at the

arrival point in Tribhuvan

International Airport has modified the screening system.

“We are cautiously screening all the passengers, Nepali or foreigners, with

an inventory of their personal details and passport,

flight and seat number on board and their telephone number,” said Dr Gajananda P Bhandari, epidemiologist and coordinator of the Desk. He said all the passengers were required to fill the Health Screening Card.

The Desk is equipped with a hi-tech infrared thermometer that lets the health personnel to instantly read the temperature of the passengers from a distance without body contact.

Any person with common symptoms of influenza — fever, cough or sore throat and shortness of breath — will be referred to the TU Teaching Hospital and Teku Hospital immediately, authorities said.