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January 22, 2020updated 13 Feb 2020 9:59am

Coronavirus: Airports worldwide start screening passengers from China

Airports around the world have started screening passengers arriving from China, including Hong Kong, for the deadly coronavirus.

Visit our Covid-19 microsite for the latest coronavirus news, analysis and updates

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Airports around the world have started screening passengers arriving from China, including Hong Kong, for the deadly coronavirus.

The new virus that appeared in Wuhan, China, last month, has killed six people and infected hundreds.

The coronavirus is part of the same family as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which claimed lives of more than 700 people in 2002 and 2003.

Coronavirus, which started spreading from animals to humans, is capable of human-to-human transmission.

India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has announced that all the passengers arriving from China at seven airports will be screened for the virus.

In addition to the previously announced Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata airports, passengers will also undergo thermal screening at Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin airports.

Additionally, passengers experiencing acute onset of fever, cough and shortness of breath have been directed to report to the health units at the airport.

Airports in Russia have also commenced the screening of travellers who arrive from China to detect passengers who might have been infected by the coronavirus.

Reuters reported that airports in Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo, Yekaterinburg and Irkutsk have began the screening measures.

In Wuhan, China has implemented thermal scanning for people departing the airports. Japan and Hong Kong have also alerted the airports regarding the virus.

Following a directive from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), ‘enhanced health screenings’ were launched at three airports: San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK), and Los Angeles (LAX) on 17 January.

The US registered its first case of the virus on 21 January in Seattle, Washington. The patient returned from Wuhan on 15 January. Screening has also been launched at Atlanta and Chicago airports.

South Korea, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Australia, Italy, Singapore and Malaysia have also adopted various measures at the airports to identify infected passengers.

This week, scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US started working towards a vaccine against the coronavirus.

Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) is holding an emergency meeting today to assess the severity and determine if it is an international health emergency.

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