There have been no reports of H7N9 infections at the three Taiwanese schools in China, and Chinese starting school in Taiwan in September will have to complete their medical examinations before entering the country if the situation in China worsens, the Central Epidemic Disease Surveillance Command Center yesterday.
The Ministry of Education confirmed that a total of 4,412 students in the three Taiwanese schools in Guangdong Province, Jiangsu Province and Shanghai were cleared of infection, and none of their parents are engaged in the poultry business, adding that a disease prevention team has been set up in each of the schools.
As for Chinese students currently studying in Taiwan, which number 8,887, the ministry said most of them entered the country before February, so there is little worry that they might be infected.
“Those coming for the next semester, estimated at about 10,000, both degree and non-degree [students], will be required to go though a medical examination within seven days after entering the country, as all foreign students have based on existing regulations,” ministry official Liang Hsueh-cheng (梁學政) said.
Depending on the development of the influenza, the ministry will adjust its policies toward Chinese students accordingly, it said.
“We will ask the Chinese students, some of whom will be coming from H7N9-affected regions, to monitor their own health conditions and to report to concerned authorities once they develop suspicious symptoms,” Liang said. “However, if the [H7N9] situation should worsen, we can also require them, with a proper legal basis, to complete their medical examinations before coming to Taiwan.”