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Welcome to Phuket: The scanner checks all passengers as they arrive

Flu Alert: All Phuket Arrivals Face Thermal Scans

Monday, May 18, 2009
CHECKS for signs of the H1N1 virus on air passengers arriving on Phuket have been increased as concerns mount that the flu will have a ''second wave.''

All arrivals, both international and domestic, are now subjected to a thermal scanner, the airport's new general manager, Wing Commander Pratuang Sankom, told Phuketwan today.

A team of doctors and nurses is on standby and cards advising action if symptoms develop are being handed out to passengers.

At one stage, only direct flights from Hong Kong, Korea and Australia were subject to thermal scans on Phuket.

But now, with a sudden surge of cases in Japan and the virus detected in 37 countries, the Phuket checks have grown more intense.

So far, no traveller has caused the thermal scanner to raise concerns about their health.

Phuketwan recently saw it in action, activated by a cup of warm water.

Tourism authorities do not see the international concern about the flu adding a great burden to the industry on Phuket or in Thailand because all countries are likely to be affected.

This is not to say there will not be a slowdown in travel generally.

Wing Commander Pratuang said the two Thai Airways flights a week from Japan, on Thursday and Saturday, each carry up to 270 passengers.

The latest surge of H1N1 in Japan may lead the World Health Organisation to declare a Level 6 pandemic.

WHO's annual assembly opened in Geneva today, with about 8500 H1N1 flu cases worldwide and a sharp spike in infections in Japan.

But the death rate falls far short of early fears of the worldwide onslaught of a killer flu.

The vast majority of victims outside Mexico especially have survived the virus.

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Wednesday October 27, 2021
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