Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Of Swine Flu

How could I forget writing about this, damn me. It’s totally outdated now but like heck I need to write it. So please bear with me.

Some of you know that I went to Sydney this May. I was there for about a week. My return flight was via Bangkok and instead of coming straight to Bangalore I had to change my flight at Mumbai.

Now there have been confirmed cases of Swine Flu in Australia. Considering I was coming back from there I was sure there will be some major delay at Mumbai Airport in order to do a check up. Add to it the fact that I had a stop over at Bangkok too, which also had had a few cases.

Reality how ever was quite different. At Mumbai International airport I was given a form which had a few random questions like - have I been to a infected country, did I come across someone who has swine flu, do I have fever and cold etc. barring the 1st one I answered no to all.
After submitting the form the guard on duty scanned me up and down and then declared me healthy. Just like that. I was authorized safe to roam about the city. That took my goat. What if I really had the virus? Wasn’t a through check needed, what if I hadn’t said the truth? Was my saying so enough to let me go?

This was back in May; I hear that situation is better now. Not sure as my experience was quite vague. Anyone else who has had some similar experiences?

21 comments:

Imp's Mom said...

wow!! U were lucky Iya...

cant say I'm surprised though... we seem to wake up only when there is an epidemic in our own country.

Jagjit said...

That's too irresponsible of them. But that's how they are. It kills me.

Mama - Mia said...

considering we keep hearing about cases detected in India and them being quarantined etc, am thinking they must be doing a better job of it now.

cheers!

Swaram said...

Oh that's sad :(. I haven't travelled recently but heard from a few of whom I know that they are doing a bit better now.

The problem is that they don't wake up till the situation getz to the neck; glad that u r safe :)

Goofy Mumma said...

Apathy is what is killing India. Maybe India needs to rise like a phoenix, go to ashes and then resurrect itself. When you have scum, with no sense, or merit but their caste certificate, holding office in the government, this is all we can expect. Live in pile of crap, and make everyplace that way.

Sorry if I am being too harsh, but such things really get my goat. I am so happy i got out of Bombay with the BB soon enough. with the recurrent cases of Polio, I was really getting scared.

Monika,Ansh said...

Agree with u & a recent article I read abt teh state of the quarantine facilities here in Kolkata got my blood boiling. Apparently there are no decent toilet facilities with draine water leaking from the roof & there is just a curtain separating the male & female section!! I get so frustrated reading stuff like this.

કૃણાલ said...

Perhaps the content of my comment will be quite contradictory to what you and others who have commented on post think.

First of all as you mentioned, you were screened for temperature and it was normal. The more severe symptoms of flu are coughing and sneezing which in your case I understand was absent. So after seeing your body language the official might not have found anything suspicious so he/she let you go.

You said that you were made to declare about your health status and in that also you declared fit and fine. It is not just a piece of paper but its declaration from person and I think it has a legal binding on the person who is declaring. So as a responsible person, onus is on you to declare truth about your health.

Another thing is Australia is affected country but most of the H1N1 cases have been reported in Melbourne (Victoria state) and not in Sydney.

Now suppose government makes each inbound passengers to go through stringent check up at Indian airport than also people will scream about wasting of passenger time. Suppose for a flight carrying 250 passengers if 10 doctors are put per flight and each person is given even 5 mins time for check up, the last person in the queue will end up waiting for more than 2 hours. Is it acceptable and even if it is made compulsory it will be a huge task logistically for government.

I stay in Singapore and here inbound travelers are not made to declare anything however they are screened through thermal scanner and also the passengers are visually monitored. If someone is found suspicious than that person is quarantined. Despite of stringent measures and checks in place by government here more than 600 cases of H1N1 has been registered here. If you compare this nos. to India and its population, I think India is not doing bad.

So I think we have to see the things in the perspective else you should have suggested what other measures government should have taken.

Just my views.

Mampi said...

This is the only country where the guards can double up as doctors.

Shafi said...

This is INDIA .... lolz

Rush said...

depends on what action the airport authorities wud take if someone answered yes!!

Masood said...

Its the same here in Dubai but without a declaration. Just a temperature scanner. Thats the first symptom though so makes sense. UAE does not have too many registered cases.

Indyeah said...

this is nuts !
what an amazing thorough check!


what?the guards are getting doc degrees now? :/

Cynic in Wonderland said...

read krishashoks latest post - exactly the same !

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

Are we developing or are we not ?
Sometimes I have to think may be most of the highly publicized diseases are marketing to sell medicines. May be I am wrong but if human are very old then what they are doing to solve problems. Each day/month we hear about new problems. Thus, I say we developing or not ?

Manish Raj said...

Appreciate the concern you've raised. And thanks that you cared.

We need to inform the airport authorities about this.

Best Regards
Manish

Solilo said...

First I would say that I am not surprised as we wake up only when there is a serious threat and that is when we are deep into it, be it an epidemic or terror threat.

Second, Swine flu symptoms can be detected by temp. and also by face (running nose and really droopy) and may be these guards are trained. :) Now that is the positive look on it.

roop said...

ugh!!! then there is china on the opposite extreme.

extreme of anything is bad.

:/

hope all's well with you. loving the header pic. :)

Iya said...

Some clarification - i wasnt subjected to any temprature test either. only to the test of eye.

Things are better these days of what i hear. i will be on another trip next month so will see for myself.

WSW said...

Just enetered spore, and was subjected a temp test and a similar random form.

so i guess its more or less all over.

indianhomemaker said...

And today in the news: A 14 year old school girl died of swine flu, doctors kept treating her for lung infection. This is the first case I think where there's been a death...

The general attitude is that only one in thousands might be a serious case. :(

Reflections said...

I was checked as I entered Bangalore...as in a woman put a gun-like thing to my head & checked my temperature:-))

And in Dubai airport there are temperature scanners all around.