Authorities imposed extreme security measures on Bogota‘s El Dorado
airport, because of swine flu fears. All those who enter Colombia by
air are observed by health experts and DAS officials for symptoms of
the virus that has spread to north America, Europe and New Zealand.
All passengers, especially those coming from Mexico, are closely observed by health experts and DAS officials to see if they show any symptoms like fever or coughing.
Travelers who are identified as possible carriers of the virus are taken to the airport’s health facilities and subjected to tests.They will not be held, but will be obliged to clarify where they will be staying.
“The checks on the airports are done in conjunction with the airline companies that bring the passengers. If they see anything suspicious they are detained and referred to airport health authorities,” Airport security director Mario Cecila Salazar told Caracol Radio.
Suspected cases are immediately reported to the Ministry of Social Welfare, which is in charge of the operation to keep the Swine flu out of Colombia or prevent a massive outbreak if it does enter.
Social Welfare Minister Diego Palacio stressed the importance of the severe measures on the airport. According to the Minister, the virus could spread rapidly throughout the country.
The Colombian government declared a state of national emergency Monday in order to be able to impose preventive measures and have the funds to combat a possible outbreak.