Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cambodia Tightens Inspection After Flu Reaches Thailand

PHNOM PENH, May 13 (Bernama) -- Cambodia is watching closely for unusual outbreak of influenza-like illness and severe pneumonia in the country and have further tightened inspection at international gates after A/H1N1 flu virus reaches Thailand, officials said here on Wednesday.

"We have tightened the inspection on passengers who came from affected countries and the passengers have to pass through thermal scanners for body temperature and fill health declaration procedures," Ly Sovan, deputy director of anti-communicable department at Health Ministry, told Xinhua news agency on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Cambodian Health Minister Mam Bun Heng on Wednesday inspected the working group of anti-communicable disease influenza A/H1N1 at the Phnom Penh International Airport and other places.

Ly Sovan said Cambodia was concerned about influenza A/H1N1 after it has spread worldwide, and also tightened inspection on passengers at the international border gates with the neighboring countries after it reached to neighboring Thailand.

"We have already prepared to prevent and fight against the outbreak of influenza A /H1N1 here," he said, "up to now, our country still has no confirmed or suspected cases of swine flu."

Meanwhile, Nima Asgari, public health specialist for the World Health Organization (WHO), said that given the spread of the disease, the appearance of influenza A/H1N1 in Cambodia would be unsurprising.

"The question is how fast the government can react," he stressed.

Thirty countries and regions have reported 5,251 cases of influenza A/H1N1 as of May 12 and 61 deaths have been confirmed worldwide, according to WHO's website.

Last week health ministers from ASEAN and their counterparts from China, Japan, and South Korea met in Bangkok pledging to cooperation in the face of threat from the virus and to boost stockpiles of antiviral.

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