India issues travel advisories after swine flu epidemic

New Delhi, April 27 (Inditop) India Monday asked its citizens to avoid “non-essential travels” to New Zealand, Mexico, the US, Canada, Spain, France and Britain in the wake of the swine flu outbreak.

A health ministry official made it clear that India was free of the infection.

“There is no infection in India and all measures are being taken. We are dealing with the threat but not the disease,” said V.M. Katoch, director general Indian Council of Medical Research, an apex body that promotes bio-medical research.

“Keeping in view the global scenario, the Indian government is stipulating a series of action that includes surveillance in ports and airports, surveillance through integrated disease, surveillance units in all the states and issuing a travel advisory for those travelling to affected areas to defer non-essential travels,” Katoch told reporters.

He said these countries are – New Zealand, Mexico, the US, Canada, Spain, France and Britain.

“All the travellers coming from these countries, will be quarantined and if detected with the flu would be slotted and put on treatment,” he added.

A team of doctors would would work round the clock at nine Indian airports to screen travellers, especially those coming in from these countries.

“There would be a mandatory medical check-up at the airports,” he said.

“The health ministry has also sought details from the airports about people from these countries who have visited India in the past 10 days,” he said, adding that the incubation period for the flu is seven days.

The health ministry had Monday called a high-level meeting to discuss the preparedness in the wake of the influenza that has started spreading to other countries.