In the largest ever manhunt in India’s history, authorities are tracking down the 2,000-odd passengers who are known to have arrived in the country from Mexico over the past week. These passengers will be traced to their local addresses and checked thoroughly for symptoms of swine flu infection by central government health officers, in an exercise to prevent outbreak of the deadly flu in the country.
This group is part of the 50,000 passengers identified as having entered India from flu-affected countries like New Zealand, Mexico, the US, Canada, Spain, France and Britain over the past week.
India on Friday also started full-fledged screening of all passengers coming into the country from infected countries. A total of 17,949 passengers were screened till Friday evening at the international airports in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Goa, Amritsar, Cochin, Ahmedabad, Trichy and Srinagar. Around 96 doctors have been deployed to man 32 counters at the 12 airports.
Now, if only there was this much effort and enthusiasm to track down terrorists, wouldn’t it be quite something else?
I am not suggesting that such a pandemic is not cause for concern; people are dying. I have always maintained that the ongoing problems are of illiteracy, poverty and health, but somehow they are not as great smart bomb bytes as the T word is.
In fact, rarely do we bother to get in touch with people close to the affected areas unless there are bomb blasts or such. And when we do – as I did when I called up a friend not far from Mexico – she was, like, “huh, yeah, we’re fine…” I admit I felt like one of those bustling hens.
One supposes a small dose of humour would not be out of place, anyway:
Is this riding piggy back or just good old grrr revenge of “you can’t bank on us only for small change”?