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Volume 404: debated on Thursday 8 May 2003

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; To ask the Secretary of State for Health what powers he has to detain suspected cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome: and on what basis he would exercise the power. [108517]

[holding answer 10 April 2003]: The Public Health (Aircraft) Regulations 1979 does provide the power to detain for examination any person leaving an aircraft where there are "reasonable grounds" for suspecting that they are suffering from or have been exposed to infection. There is a similar provision in the Public Health (Ships) Regulations.We remain vigilant to the threat posed by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) to public health in this country and keep our policy under regular review.