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Tuesday, 22 October 1974
Page: 1838

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON - I address a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Health. In doing so I draw attention to a report in this morning's Press about a cholera outbreak in Manila, as a result of which 14 people have died and about 30 people are ill, some seriously, several hundreds of miles north of Manila. Against the background of our experience through the Department of Health about 2 years ago when it became necessary to apply certain stringent conditions at the first point of entry of people coming to Australia from the Middle East where there was a similar outbreak, will the Minister or his Department investigate the situation to see whether, until the situation has been clarified, it is necessary to impose temporary restrictions at the first point of entry of people coming directly from Manila? I appreciate that it is a difficult question and that it will depend upon the nature of the cholera and the risk involved. I speak as one who had the unhappy experience many years ago- I do not talk about it- of having been in a death cholera camp, as was Senator Carrick. It is a frightening disease, and we need to impose very stringent health requirements until the matter is clarified.

Senator WHEELDON - I appreciate the question that Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson has asked and his interest in the matter. I am aware of the reports from the Philippines and I think that they could be particularly disturbing in view of the fact that contact between Australia and the Philippines is now much greater than it was a few years ago, particularly with the number of regular direct flights between Australia and Manila. Obviously this is a matter with which the Minister for Health himself will have to deal. I shall put to him the matter that Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson has raised today, and as soon as I have received a reply on this matter, which I agree is a matter of some urgency, I shall advise the Senate of what action the Department of Health is taking in order to prevent any possible introduction of cholera into Australia.

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