Gloves on for avian flu fight

As part of the battle against bird flu, police and coast guards working in ports and on islands have been supplied with surgical masks and rubber gloves to don when they conduct checks on migrants or cargo that has arrived from Turkey. Doctors on the eastern Aegean island of Samos yesterday inspected at a reception center 20 illegal immigrants from Mauritania and Afghanistan for signs of the disease. The migrants had been picked up late on Monday night. They were the first illegal immigrants to be detained on the island since the outbreak of bird flu across the Aegean. Four people have already died from the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus in Greece’s neighbor and protection against the disease has been stepped up. The government has advised Greeks against traveling to Turkey. Police sources on Samos told Kathimerini that all officers have been ordered to wear masks and gloves when detaining migrants. Coast guards have been given the same instructions and told to disinfect their boats twice after transporting immigrants.

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