3 Apr 2003

New measures against SARS in New Caledonia

3:53 pm on 3 April 2003

New Caledonian has put in place new measures against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, requiring now all travellers arriving from risk countries to undergo a health check.

This comes after the authorities last month advised against all non-essential travel to Asian countries affected by the disease.

All people arriving in New Caledonia after visiting or transiting through Singapore, China, Hong Kong or Vietnam will be checked by a nurse.

If travellers show signs of SARS they will be admitted to the hospital in Noumea where special provisions have been made to isolate anyone infected.

If the person does not present any symptoms of the illness, they will nonetheless be asked to spend 10 days - the probable incubation period of the virus - under a doctor's watch.

In French Polynesia, no more work permits will be issued to people from the Southeast Asian risk countries.

The territory's health minister has called for vigilance and asked residents to report all travel to Southeast Asia.