Ahmedabad International Airport has become the latest airport in India to enhance its screening procedure with a new thermal body scanner to isolate Ebola patients in Gujarat.
The airport has procured the scanner from the central government, which will help health officials to identify international passengers displaying Ebola-like symptoms so that proper health check-up can be performed.
The health department has also sent a team to Delhi to be trained in handling Ebola patients, before training health staff in Gujarat. An isolation ward has also been set up at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital to quarantine possible Ebola patients.
Government officials said that there were four source countries for Ebola in West Africa from where the virus has further spread to places such as the US.
The Indian Express quoted a government official as saying: "So, if at all comes to India or Gujarat, it will come either from international airports or ports. Now, in Gujarat, we don’t have any passenger ports. So, we have to keep vigil at the international airport in Ahmedabad and accordingly initiatives have been taken to discover any Ebola patient’s entry at Ahmedabad International Airport."
The Express further quoted sources as saying: "The first symptom of Ebola is high fever. So, the health department has decided to screen all international passengers arriving at Ahmedabad International Airport. If a passenger has high fever, the thermal body scanner will identify the same and that passenger will be asked to undergo necessary tests.
"At cargo ports also in Gujarat, the government has passed necessary instructions to the concerned department to make sure that necessary screening is done of the crew members."
The union government is monitoring international patients showing Ebola-like symptoms. Their health is being followed for three weeks. Apart from Ahmedabad Airport, states such as Kerala and Goa have also started screening international travellers.