The swine flu virus that has killed more than 100 people in Mexico,
infected at least a dozen in the United States and caused panic around
the world could arrive in Colombia anytime, Social Welfare Minister
Diego Palacio said Monday.
Palacio told Caracol Radio that the government explicitly decided not to refuse entry to people arriving from Mexico, but has increased security measures at the national airport in Bogota. He also advises all Colombians not to travel to the country where the Swine flu first reared its head. The government is constantly analyzing the situation in Mexico in order to be able to respond to new developments, he said.
Passengers from Mexico who arrive on El Dorado airport are questioned about their health and will have to show authorities where in the north American country they have been.
Hospitals in Bogotá are on “epidemiological alert” to increase vigilance on possible victims.
The number of people treated for suspicious symptoms was raised to twenty, the Minister said. “Seven or eight have been released. We have two on the Atlantic coast and another nine in Bogota. They are under epidemiological surveillance, because in case that one of their cases is confirmed, they will have to be quarantined.”
Because of fears of the swine flu and its effects on the already shaky economy and effects on tourism, the Colombian peso dropped 1.3 percent when markets opened Monday.