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Swine flu: China shuts border with Nepal

May 23, 2009

Three border posts are closed; one is kept open.
Nepali authorities insist the country is free of
the H1N1 virus but increases checks to prevent
the virus from spreading to the country. A Dubai
woman is quarantined as a precautionary measure.
by Kalpit Parajuli
Asia News (Italy)
May 21, 2009

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) -- China has closed its
border with Nepal following the hospitalisation
of a woman in Tibet infected with the swine flu.
The Italian national had spent some time in
Beijing’s southern neighbour before crossing the border.

The border posts of Sankhuwasabha, Rasuwa and
Gorkha were sealed; only at the Tatopani crossing
can Nepalis and foreigners cross but only if they wear a mask.

In response to the Chinese action Nepali health
authorities have stated that their country is flu-free.

"We studied the areas suspected by Chinese
authorities and also the other possible areas but
we didn’t find any case of swine flu,” Dr
Senendra Raj Upreti, director of the Health
Ministry’s Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, told AsiaNews.

Given the situation Nepal is taking every
precaution to prevent the H1N1 virus from
crossing its borders since its two main
neighbours, China and India, have already reported many cases of infection.

A Dubai woman who entered Nepal via India has
been quarantined on suspicion of swine flu
Wednesday at the Shukra Raj Hospital for Tropical
Diseases after landing at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport.

This is the first time someone is being held on
suspicions of having the swine-flu. The
authorities are still waiting though for lab results to confirm the case.

Staff members at Kathmandu’s airport have taken
to wearing masks to avoid infection.

Health workers have also been deployed to check
for signs of the disease; everyone entering Nepal gets a temperature check up.
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