Allaying fears of the A (H1N1) epidemic spilling over from Kerala, Director of Public Health R.T. Porkaipandian said on Wednesday that the government would soon set up swine flu desks at the Coimbatore airport and railway station.
“We do not want to be alarmist, so we are not doing any compulsory screening. However, in the light of the World Classical Tamil conference, where a number of people will be visiting from all over the country and abroad, we have planned help desks for visitors to check with, if they have any symptoms,” Dr. Pandian told TheHindu.
These desks would come up in two-three days. Thermal body scanners, he clarified, would not be installed at the airport to screen visitors who fly in.
He explained there had been 3,096 positive cases in 2009, but in 2010, there were only three cases, one from Coimbatore, and the other two from Kanyakumari (One this month, and the other, last month).
“We do not have a problem with A (H1N1) in Tamil Nadu. Though we have some six districts bordering Kerala, we have taken adequate measures to ensure that things do not spill over,” Dr. Pandian said.
Additionally, the DPH has marshalled extra public health staff and deputed them to Coimbatore in view of the conference to be held there between June 23 and 27. A total of 75 extra staff members would take care of anti-larval, anti-adult mosquito, and pig-catching activities. Along with the local Corporation Health Department, efforts were on to chlorinate all water sources in the city and its peri-urban and rural areas.
Again, 15 food inspectors to check the hygiene and sanitation among food handlers in hotels and eateries, 20 entomological assistants and five District Malaria Officers would be among the posse of public health employees deputed on special duty to Coimbatore.