India Wants US to Screen Departing Passengers for Swine Flu  བོད་སྐད།

India says the number of swine flu patients in the country has risen to 31. The latest confirmed cases involve a group of students recently returned from a study trip to the United States. Officials are expressing their frustration with a perceived lack of adequate screening of Indians returning from America.

Indian health officials want more help from Washington to prevent additional cases of the swine flu here.

Minister of State for Health Dinesh Trivedi is calling for screening of passengers departing from airports in the United States, as is being done in Mexico.

"You have to screen," Trivedi said. "I think Americans also must try and provide some kind of screening at the point of departure which is the source, as far as India is concerned."

Indian officials say all of the cases of the H1N1 virus in this country have been traced back to the United States.

The Ministry of Health says it is enhancing thermal scanning of arriving passengers at India's major international airports and is increasing the number of testing laboratories around the country.

India is asking its own travelers, especially students planning to study in the United States, to defer their departures for some months until the pandemic is brought under control.

But some medical professionals predict that, regardless of the measures India takes, the number of swine flu cases can be expected to surge here soon as the monsoon season begins.

A doctor in Jalandhar, in the state of Punjab, says nine students have been quarantined after complaining of fever and sore throats, following an educational visit to the NASA space agency in the United States. Most have tested positive for the H1N1 virus.

The Press Trust of India, quoting a health official, reports an Air France staff member, as well as one Swedish and one Indian passenger, who arrived Tuesday in Bangalore on a flight from Thailand have been quarantined at a hospital after displaying flu symptoms.

The World Health Organization says the strain of influenza has spread to about 75 countries, infecting nearly 30,000 people, at least 145 of whom have died.