Major Indian Airports screening passengers arriving from China due to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak

Given the recent outbreak of Pneumonia caused by the Novel Coronavirus in Wuhan city of Hubei province of China, all passengers travelling from China to Delhi/Mumbai and Kolkata will have to undergo a thermal screening as a matter of precaution. The Mumbai Airport has activated a health counter and thermal scanners at the pre-immigration area for the arriving passengers.

  • Mumbai CSMIA (BOM) currently has two airlines, Air China and Rwand Air catering to passengers travelling to and from China;
  • Delhi IGIA (DEL) has five airlines, namely IndiGo, Air India, China Eastern, Air China, China Southern catering to passengers travelling to and from China;
  • Kolkata Airport (CCU) has IndiGo and China Eastern catering to passengers to and from China.

In case if any traveller is detected with the symptom, the concerned passenger will be immediately shifted to the isolation hospital on the advice of the Airport Health Office team.

As reported by the Chinese authorities, this is a new type of coronavirus and is different from all other human coronaviruses. The World Health Organization has reported symptoms such as fever, difficulty in breathing and chest radiographs showing bilateral lung infiltrates as the cause of pneumonia. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses and includes the viruses that cause SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and viruses that cause milder illnesses such as the common cold.

To prudently reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections while travelling in or from affected areas such as Wuhan City following things need to be kept in mind:

  1. Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections
  2. Frequent handwashing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment
  3. Avoid close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals
  4. Travellers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing and wash hands)

Thailand recently detected its second case of the coronavirus on Friday. This particular patient was from China’s central city of Wuhan, which has reported 41 cases of pneumonia primarily linked to the new type of virus. Two deaths have been reported so far, as countries across the globe are preparing to protect their soil against the outbreak.

With the Chinese New Year holidays coming around, millions of passengers are expected to travel from China to other countries. Wuhan, which is known as China’s university town, has about 500 Indian students, as per various media reports.

 

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