Asian countries tighten Mers quarantine measures at airports

4 June 2015 (Last Updated June 4th, 2015 18:30)

China has implemented strict security measures at two of its airports to screen and quarantine passengers affected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers).

China has implemented strict security measures at two of its airports to screen and quarantine passengers affected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers).

The Mers has so far claimed four lives in South Korea.

Initially identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012, the disease has infected 45 people in South Korea in its first outbreak outside the Middle East.

"If any passenger appears to be unwell, he or she will be asked to see a doctor immediately."

Having symptoms such as fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure, Mers has a death rate of 27%, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Airports including the Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport have tightened quarantine inspections and anti-epidemic measures, after an infected South Korean passenger entered Huizhou City via Shenzhen from Hong Kong, reported Yibada.com.

In response to a request from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine, the BCIA has installed infrared thermometers to help monitor inbound passengers.

The airport has also employed quarantine inspectors to identify people with Mers symptoms.

However, the National Tourism Administration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have not yet issued any warnings to people travelling to South Korea.

The outbreak in South Korea has resulted in the shutdown of around 230 schools, while nearly 1,300 people have been put under quarantine.

Airport authorities are also implementing precautionary measures at airports across the country.

Singapore has also put in place measures to minimise the spread.

Channel News Asia quoted a spokesperson from Singapore Airlines as saying: "If any passenger appears to be unwell, he or she will be asked to see a doctor immediately. We will not carry any passenger whom we believe is a risk to others on board."