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Monday, May 4, 2009

Swine flu: Gujarat orders checks in ports

GANDHINAGAR: The Gujarat government has instructed authorities in all the sea ports across the State not to allow crew members of foreign cargo ships to set foot on Indian soil without being thoroughly checked.

Among the busiest sea ports receiving cargo ships from abroad are Kandla and Mundra, both in the Kutch district. There, however, are several other ports in the Saurashtra and the south Gujarat regions also where ships from abroad berth to unload cargo.

An official spokesman of the State government here said on Sunday that the step was taken as a precautionary measure in view of the spread of swine flue in various parts of the world and India could get affected if any carrier of the virus was allowed to enter the country unchecked.

The port authorities were also told to immediately quarantine any crew member suspected to be suffering from the dreaded disease. It was the first time that such precautionary measures were taken for the sea ports.

The government has already taken steps at the Ahmedabad international airport, including posting five medical teams and an ambulance van to check the passengers from abroad. Two isolation wards were also started at the government civil hospital and the municipal V.S. hospital in Ahmedabad .

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