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Measures in Asia against flu

April 28, 2009 12:24:00

MANILA, Philippines--Asia, a continent that has battled deadly viruses such as the H5N1 bird flu and SARS in recent years, has been taking steps to ward off the new swine flu virus.

Following are some details of how Asian countries are responding to the crisis:

JAPAN -- Central government has Tamiflu stockpile for about 22.5 million, and Ralenza stockpile for about 2.68 million people, for combined stock which would cover nearly 20 percent of population. Local governments have own stockpiles but figures not available.

SOUTH KOREA -- Tamiflu stockpile for 2.5 million people and is working to increase that to 10 percent of population of about 49 million.

AUSTRALIA -- Enough anti-viral drugs stockpiled to cover around 41 percent of 21 million population. Australia, since bird flu threatened region, has stockpiled 8.7 million doses of Tamiflu and Relenza drugs. Large stores of surgical masks.

NEW ZEALAND -- Public health officials say "ample stocks" of anti-flu drugs. NZ built up stockpile after bird flu scare sufficient to cover between 25-30 percent of the 4.3 million population.

HONG KONG -- Media reports that Hong Kong authorities have 20 million doses of Tamiflu and other anti-flu medication. Steps up port health protection measures and sets up temperature screening machines at all checkpoints.

TAIWAN -- Current supplies of swine flu treatment to cover 10 percent of Taiwan's 23 million population. More than one million facemasks for emergency use.

MALAYSIA - Tamiflu stockpile covering more than 2 million of the 27-million strong population. Does not have stockpile of personnel protection equipment such as face masks for general population yet, but has a supply for health staff who will be dealing with crisis.

THAILAND -- Health officials say have sufficient stockpile of anti-influenza drugs to handle outbreak. Temperature screening checkpoints at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

PHILIPPINES -- Government says sufficient face masks and Tamiflu. Surveillance and other measures stepped up at entry points. Thermal scanning of all arriving passengers from countries with reported swine flu cases.

CHINA -- Authorities tell hospitals to swiftly report any suspected cases of swine flu, and the official press is vowing fast public disclosure of any cases.

VIETNAM -- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's largest city of more than 8 million people, has stocks of Tamiflu enough for 1 million people.

SINGAPORE -- Thermal scanners at airport and isolation units at hospitals, where staff at some emergency departments are wearing full protective clothing.

BANGLADESH - Travellers, particularly those coming from countries already hit by recent outbreak, to be screened.

INDONESIA -- Temperature scanners installed at 10 airports and ports with immediate effect.

INDIA -- Government to step up surveillance at international airports and ports.

ASEAN -- Has 500,000 courses of antivirals stockpiled in Singapore and another 500,000 distributed among ASEAN member states. ASEAN also has stockpile of personal protective equipment but it did not give details.

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The following countries have issued advisories against non-essential travel to Mexico:

Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore.

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