Aarti Dhar

Man from Andhra Pradesh was traced with China’s help

China alerted India on Mexican’s fellow passenger

Two hospitalised in Bangalore and two in Kochi

NEW DELHI: With China’s help, the government has traced a young man in Andhra Pradesh who travelled with a Mexican, afflicted with A(H1N1), from Mexico to Shanghai. The Indian has been quarantined at home but he has been clinically cleared of any infection.

Four others each have been hospitalised, two each in Bangalore and Kochi, while one person volunteered for testing in a Delhi hospital as he had travelled to the swine-flu affected countries some time ago.

Throat swabs of all these passengers have been sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases here and the Pune-based National Institute of Virology, Vineet Chowdhry, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health, told journalists here on Tuesday.

The Chinese government, through the Indian High Commission in Beijing, informed New Delhi that one passenger on a flight from Mexico to Shanghai that had landed on May 1 tested positive for swine flu. An Indian was also on the same flight but he took an Indian carrier for onward journey to Andhra Pradesh.

The Health Ministry immediately established contact with the passenger at his home and got him tested. “This has happened because of cooperation being extended by the countries among themselves,” Mr. Chowdhry said.

Between 35,000 and 40,000 passengers were being screened daily at 21 international airports. Seaports, too, were brought under the purview of screening, though the number of people there was insignificant. Efforts were on to make screening at the airports hassle-free.

The Ministry had provided screening forms to the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation for being supplied to airlines so that passengers could fill these on board.

Meanwhile, the government clarified that there was no link between swine flu A(H1N1) and swine fever reported from some States, particularly Maharashtra, following which many pigs were culled.

Swine fever or pig plague causes mortality among pigs and the infection did not travel to humans.

The Committee of Secretaries would review the preparedness at a high-power meeting on Wednesday.

The World Health Organisation has reported 1,124 laboratory confirmed cases of influenza infection with 26 deaths from 21 countries.

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