Plague outbreak well under control in India

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 October, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 October, 1994, 12:00am

I AM a Hong Kong-based Indian businessman.

I visited India between September 25 and October 1, that is, at the height of the plague scare and feel that many people have misconceptions about the outbreak.

I visited Delhi, Bangalore, Madras and Bombay. I was accompanied on my journey by a group of Swiss nationals.

I was in Bombay from September 29 till my departure for Hong Kong via Singapore on October 1.

My business partners returned to Switzerland the same day.

Life was quite normal in all the cities we visited and we were able to conduct our business without the slightest impediments created by the outbreak of plague.

Our flights to and from India were full of foreigners visiting India either as tourists or for business purposes.

Similarly Bombay Airport was crowded with hundreds of foreign passengers, several of whom spoke to me and agreed that life was continuing normally in Bombay.

I hope this proves to readers that foreign nationals, far from avoiding India, are visiting it and conducting business as usual.

I might add, further, that at Singapore Airport on arrival from India, I did not face any problems or harassment from the health authorities.

I was merely given a small slip of paper with guidelines regarding action to be taken in case of development of any symptoms like a cough, a cold, shortness of breath etc. On my return flight to Hong Kong I spoke to a Hong Kong-based Chinese shipping tycoon who was also returning from India.

He also confirmed that life was quite normal in all the Indian cities he had visited.

As of October 4, there were only 4,547 suspected cases of plague, only 234 had tested positive for plague.

The official nationwide death toll is 51. These figures clearly illustrate that contrary to the impression being created in some quarters, the disease is not rampant in India.

It has been contained and is well under control.

Dipak Vaghant, Kowloon