Well I was in Pune just before it was declared Flu Capitol of India by our reporters. I remember Prem Chopra’s dialogue from movie “Badnaam Honge To Kya Naam Na Hoga!” :). Coming from Singapore which acts too fast for any Communicable Diseases. Which is very much required Singapore as the population here is very dense and wide spread can be tough on people as well as economy.
I was in Pune in Last week of August-09 and what I saw that many hospitals are just unaware of the fact that someday the H1N1 or Swine Flu will visit their city too. In 2 of the major hospital’s I visited in Pune, right from receptionist at OPD to Consulting Dr. no one was wearing mask!. Well now you already know how mask is the possible key for avoiding the spreading the flu.
Now you will see everybody is looking for a mask in the city.
I know people will always give this excuse about too many people and stuff like that!. Reality is that there was no plan in place, people in India would have just copied what other countries did when the outbreak started few months before it came to India. People somewhere on Internet were also seen quoting that due to hot weather in India the virus will not sustain!. I believe everybody know that India has all kinds of weather!
I came across this post from Amit Paranjape, to which I agree ..specially the point about the people wearing masks but not wearing helmets ! ..
When I was travelling from Singapore to Mumbai, I had mixed opinions about how the situation about H1N1 will be handled at the airport. The scene was like this. Reaching Mumbai Airport at midnight, after a long walk from the Plane to the Immigration Checkpoint there were bunch of people sitting to scan the group of 20+ people using a small digital camera. I doubt whether it was serving its purpose. There was 1-2 staff carrying a H1N1 declaration form, distributing to people. Many of the people were unaware about what to do with that form and what is the next from here. When I looked saw around 3-4 desks organized to collect those H1N1 Forms. Well by the time people understand what to do and how to proceed, in that small area there were just to many people in close proximity and talk to each other and exchanging pens to write on the forms!. So there you are mingling with someone probably having H1N1 already! . Also for some reason during my flight the airline did not provide me the Immigration Form which usually they provide. So after filling that Form which had those usual questions I passed on to the desk and went towards the Immigration clearance.
With new airport terminal at Mumbai I was expected better management of space for these special occasions.
The important point to note in above is that only 1-2 staff from the airport I could see wearing masks!
After the immigration clearance when I went to Pre-Paid taxi counter, the person behind the counter was telling me to hurry and run after paying the money to him. The reason was that they were expecting all taxies to go on strike that night!!
I would suggest following precautions during air travel :
- Use mask(preferably N95 Mask)
- Use of Mask helps in too ways, possible infection from others and when people see you wearing mask, they stay away from you! – Double Protection!(I actually observed this when I was flight!)
- Carry Alcohol wipes with you always and use them frequently during the travel.
- When you reach your destination, do make sure to use hand sanitizer before touching other places in your house!
- Take bath at transit if you have time between flights.
I hope people develop more awareness after these situations.