IIM students forced to change travel plans

One more tests positive, number rises to 13 in Bengal

As per the International Student Exchange Programme (STEP) with the B-schools in the USA,UK, Australia and Asia, around 200 students from IIMs in India are to proceed abroad this year, while about 300 students are scheduled to visit the Indian IIM campuses. However, with the swine flu concerns beating all geographical boundaries, IIM authorities have begun issuing advisories to students on precautionary measures required to be taken.

At IIM, Calcutta, close to 65 students are slated to travel abroad and 54 students from France, Thailand, Germany, America and Belgium are supposed to come under the STEP.

Under the present circumstances, some students at IIM-C are learnt to be re-thinking about their plans and are considering completing their international semesters at the present campus only.

While the students are concerned, it is their families who are more worried about the virus. The students will undergo medical check-ups, an IIM-C spokesperson told Deccan Herald here on Wednesday. “Besides, we’ve already issued necessary advice to the visiting students from abroad for taking all required measures to meet the swine flu threat,” he added.

Meanwhile, with one more student testing positive for the swine flu in the city, the number of people afflicted with the H1N1 virus has gone up to 13 in Bengal. Joseph Subhashis Mondal, a student of Eighth standard of Alipore Boys and Girls School, tested positive on Wednesday, triggering a panic among the teachers and students.

Doctors at Infectious Diseases Hospital have been wondering how the student contracted the virus since he did not come into contact with any infected person so far, nor had any of his close relatives arrived from abroad recently. The test report of a youth from Siliguri — the first suspected case outside Kolkata — has been awaited.

Masks distributed
Authorities at the Dum Dum airport here have undertaken an arduous exercise both at the domestic and international terminals to screen arriving passengers. Surgical face masks have been distributed to immigration and customs officials, airport health officers and ground staff.

Domestic airlines employees suffering from flu symptoms have been asked to proceed on leave and not to report for duty till completely cured.  There has also been a proposal from the government to distribute travel packs containing facemasks, sanitary wipes and a medicine that treats common communicable viral diseases and prevents infections from viruses.

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