05/21/2009, 00.00
NEPAL – CHINA
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Swine flu: China shuts border with Nepal

by Kalpit Parajuli
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.
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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