Posted by: Duncan Chowdhury | August 13, 2009

Screening Swine Flu Infections

The situation is aggravating in our country with the rise of number of infections from   swine flu caused by H1N1 virus. The total number of infection has raised to 36 in our country. However, in our neighboring India the death toll raised to 19 today while the number of infection raised to more than 1,000 cases.

I was in New Delhi last week and happened to return Dhaka on Tuesday last. When the situation aggravated, in New Delhi, we were concerned what will  happen us at Dhaka airport when we arrive, we were certain that we will be under scrutiny when we arrive at Dhaka airport, since India has been affected severely by swine flu.

Surprisingly, when we arrived at Dhaka airport via Kolkota, we didn’t notice any special measures followed in this respect. We were asked to fill up a yellow form, to indicate whether we had any flu symptoms, this seemed to be somewhat on voluntary basis. Some of the passengers filled up the form and submitted to the officers on duty there, some had rushed towards immigration counters to finish the immigration formalities without filling the forms. Moreover, how can we ensure that a passenger will write the truth in the form, in case he or she has the symptoms.  It is meaningless to  have such screening procedures.

I recall that at Singapore and Hong Kong airports, they have installed  infra red cameras to screen all incoming passengers. Though it is high tech and could be a costly affair, still the authorities should see into this affair, whether this could be installed at our international airports. But for the time being, each of the incoming passengers, especially flights arrived from a swine flu affected country should be examined one to one basis, to prevent it’s infiltration in our country.

I recall that last week when we arrived at Kolkota airport, each of the  passengers were examined physically before the duty doctor at the airport cleared us out.

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