HONOLULU -April 30, 2009- The purpose of this news release is to inform the media that Australia has now joined Japan, Hong Kong, and other island states in the implementation of aggressive measures at their airports and seaports to prevent the introduction of swine flu. These are the exact same measures that Senator Mike Gabbard (District 19, Makakilo, Kapolei, Waipahu) has asked our state leaders to begin implementing here in Hawaii.
Gabbard said, "There is no reason in the world why Hawaii cannot or should not implement the aggressive screening policies of these other island states. We should not be foolishly imitating the policies of the US mainland, which, unlike Hawaii, has thousands of miles of porous borders. This is a war and every theater of war requires a different strategy. Hawaii is a completely different theater of war than the US mainland."
Senator Gabbard is again urging that the following policies being implemented in Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong, also be immediately implemented here in Hawaii:
- Taking the temperature of incoming passengers.
- Passengers coming from Mexico need to be more carefully screened.
- Right now, passengers fill out agricultural/customs forms when they arrive. Why not make an announcement on each flight, and have them fill out an additional questionnaire detailing whether they have any symptoms and where they have travelled in the last week?
- Distribute an info sheet to airline passengers and hotel guests with a hotline number to call if they develop symptoms in the next 10 days.
Gabbard continued, "Japan, Australia, and Hong Kong have proven that these measures are very effective and can be done in a very efficient manner and cost-effective way. The people of Hawaii deserve to know why our leaders are not implementing the same kind of aggressive policies as other island states/nations. "
For more information, please contact Senator Gabbard's Office at 586-6830.