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Land borders to Phuket under intensive flu screening



Land borders to Phuket under intensive flu screening | Thaiger

PHUKET: Thailand yesterday tightened the screening of people entering the country through its southern borders as Malaysia confirmed its second case of swine flu.

The southern Thai borders are the land gateways to Phuket and the Andaman region’s other international resort areas.

The borders are also used heavily by expatriates working in Phuket, Krabi and Khaolak for their visa runs.

The tougher moves against the A (H1N1) influenza came after a 21-year-old male student who returned from the US to Malaysia on May 13 was confirmed as having the virus.

Prawet Saenlah, the medical official assigned to examine visitors at Yala’s Betong border checkpoint, said yesterday that screening was intensive in accordance with national standards and that visitors, especially those from countries known to have the virus, were required to fill in health questionnaires.

Arun Manhi, the medical official at Songkhla’s Sadao border checkpoint, said officials now used a thermal scanner in shifts between the Sadao and Padang Besar checkpoints, and intensively interviewed visitors from risky groups.

In addition to health scanning at airports and checkpoints, Permanent Secretary for Public Health Dr Prat Boonyawongvirot yesterday instructed 978,019 village health volunteers nationwide to watch for A (H1N1) in their neighborhoods.

The Education Ministry and universities are watching students while tour companies are on the lookout for any tourist suspected of having the flu, he added.

There have to date been no reports of suspected swine flu cases from Phuket International Airport or from any of the resort province’s government or private-sector hospitals.


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