Coronavirus update: Airports ramp up screening for infected passengers

27 January 2020 (Last Updated February 13th, 2020 10:01)

Airports in Malaysia, Canada, Thailand and Uganda have implemented different measures for screening passengers who may be infected with the deadly coronavirus.

Coronavirus update: Airports ramp up screening for infected passengers
Airports around the world started thermal screening to identify coronovirus-infected passengers arriving from China. Credit: Jnpet.

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Airports in Malaysia, Canada, Thailand and Uganda have implemented different measures for screening passengers who may be infected with the deadly coronavirus.

The new virus that appeared in Wuhan, China, in December, has so far killed 81 people and infected around 3,000 others.

Last week, airports in India, the UK, Russia, Hong Kong and China adopted preventive safety measures.

Airport operator Malaysia Airports has teamed up with the country’s Ministry of Health (MOH) to carry out screening of passengers at all airports in the country.

The operator has started thermal screening for all passengers and flight crew who are arriving from China.

In addition, medical bays have been created to quarantine passengers who may show symptoms of the virus infection. Airport staff have been advised to use the masks and hand sanitiser provided at the airports.

The arrival gates for Chinese flights have been reallocated closer to the medical bay to ensure quicker action against the spread of the virus.

Ontario Government in Canada has also equipped Toronto Pearson International Airport with ‘enhanced screening and detection measures’.

The government will include questions regarding travel to China at the border kiosks, which will help the authorities to take the necessary action.

Passengers who have travelled to China and do not have any symptoms of the disease will be given fact sheets in English, French and Chinese to inform them about the action to be taken if they start exhibiting symptoms.

Thailand airports have also implemented thermal screening for Chinese travellers to the country. Eight people in the country have contracted the virus and are under quarantine while 20 are under observation.

Flights from Chiang Mai Airport to Wuhan have been suspended till 4 February.

Screening measures have also started at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda.

Los Angeles International Airport in the US has set up bi-polar indoor air quality technology to limit the spread of the disease in the airport.

The technology consumes and attacks the poor air, replacing it with clean air.

On 26 January, the US Government announced its plans for a special flight from Wuhan to San Francisco to evacuate all US citizens on 28 January.

China enforced transport restrictions to different cities, including Wuhan, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) decided that the outbreak is not at present an international health emergency.