This is a brief summary of how the Swine Flu Risk has been dealt with at the Chinese Immersion course that I am attending with students from my school. It is not a criticism of the Chinese government / HANBAN (organisers) as I think they are dealing with a very difficult situation in the best way possible. The situation of the groups with students who were positive for Swine Flu were taken away and dealt with as described in news reports.

When our plane landed in Beijing two medical official boarded the plane and moved through the plane taking everyone’s temperature. The did this using thermometers that looked like guns zapping your forhead. There were a couple of people on the plane whose temperateture was rechecked by an oral thermometer. On the plane as well as filling in an immigration form we also had to fill in a ‘H1N1 declaration’. H1N1, as far as I am aware this is the medical term for the strain of swine flu and how it is referred to among the Chinese. Before going through immigration everyone had to pass through a health check. This invovled handing in your health questionnaire and walking past some heat sensitive cameras. Some people were taken off to have their temperature rechecked.

We then arrived at the summer camp and enjoyed the programme as scheduled on Thursday and Friday. Every morning our temperatures were taken going into breakfast and some of the Chinese staff were wearing masks but not all. The temperature was taken by a thermal gun type device.


However on Friday evening two coach loads of students were escorted off the campus in coaches after having medical samples taken.


At this point it was there was discussion between staff and students wondering what was going on. At this point some of the Chinese volunteers began handing out face masks to the students. At this point we were told a meeting was going to be held with all teachers who based on the campus (some teachers were based at a hotel approximately 10 minutes away). In this meeting we were briefed on the situation so far and the precautions that were going to be taken were explained. When I woke up there had been a summary of the situation and what we were told at the meeting produced and put under our door (click the small image for a larger version).


On Saturday 18th July we were kept on Campus all day; the main issue with this was it was boring for the students as they wanted to be in the City (and many of the students wanted to go shopping). That being said the Campus is large with a number of activities for the students to do. In addition cleaning has been increased and there has been someone going around spreading bleech on all surfaces. Throughout the Saturday there were largely mysterous commings and goings of the swine flu ambulance from the centre of disease control.


On Sunday 19th as no more cases of H1N1 had been detected were allowed to leave. As we boarded the bus we had our temperature taken one more time. The image below shows me with one of the school guards; he has a thermometer in his hand not a gun!

Guard in Beijing Foreign Language School