Friday, May 29, 2009
Korean Government Gears Up Against H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu)
In the face of the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus, the Korean government has raised its pandemic alert level to 2 out of 4, and is carrying out emergency procedures 24 hours a day to prevent the spread of the virus. In Korea, public fears over a possible full-blown pandemic are diminishing after the patients who had contracted the H1N1 virus made full recoveries, but of course vigilance is still necessary. Korean health authorities have tightened quarantine measures, and incoming passengers from infected countries are being thoroughly checked and monitored to detect any signs of infection. These passengers are also being called afterwards to check whether they have developed any flu-like symptoms. Moreover, two sets of heat sensors have been placed at airports to detect travelers with fevers and in-flight quarantine procedures are also being carried out if deemed necessary. The Korean government has a good history of responding quickly to the outbreak of a pandemic. When the severe SARS and AI viruses broke out, Korea remained safe thanks to its influenza monitoring system and quarantine measures. Park Seung-chul, Chairman of New Influenza Emergency Measure Committee said the World Health Organization (WHO) had applauded Korea’s influenza monitoring system and rapid response measures.