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Airports Council International (ACI) World has issued an advisory bulletin for airports after the outbreak of coronavirus in China and other parts of the world.
The new virus, which first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, has so far killed 81 people and infected around 3,000 others.
The organisation stated that national regulators and health authorities will soon issue different measures that will affect the airport and aviation industry.
The guidelines, published in a report named ‘Advisory Bulletin: Transmission of Communicable Diseases’, should be adapted to the local situation.
ACI World’s report states that the airport operator and authorities should develop an airport plan, including aspects such as communication, screening, entry / exit controls and coordination with the health authority.
It also states that relevant information regarding the disease and symptoms should be shared with passengers using social media, radio and signage in the airport.
Screening measures adopted by airports should be complementary to the type of communicable disease in order to reduce its international spread.
However, the organisation stated that if the transmission of the disease has occurred during the incubation period, the impact of screening is expected to be significantly lowered.
This is expected to have happened with the coronavirus, but local requirements should be followed.
Airports have been asked to refer to the guidelines for airport preparedness by ACI World.
ACI World director general Angela Gittens said: “The health and welfare of travellers, staff and the public, and to reduce the opportunities for dissemination of communicable diseases, are the priorities for the aviation industry following the recent novel coronavirus outbreak.
“The guidance we have issued today reiterates a number of options and best practices that airports and national authorities can use to protect against communicable diseases that might pose a serious risk to public health.
“The recommendations are designed to reduce exposure to an infectious agent at airports and to improve the response to health-related emergencies by establishing standards and procedures for rapid decision-making and action.”
Airports around the world have started screening passengers for the deadly coronavirus.
Meanwhile, China has enforced transport restrictions to different cities, including Wuhan, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.