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Delhi airport to scan passengers coming from China (ANI)
Delhi airport to scan passengers coming from China (ANI)

7 Indian airports to scan passengers after outbreak of deadly virus in China

  • Seven airports in the country to scan passengers arriving from China after the outbreak of coronavirus in China
  • Last week, India had issued travel advisory asking citizens to take precautionary measures while visiting to China

As the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in China climbed to six today, India has ramped up measures to block the spread of mystery virus in the country. Seven airports in the country were asked to screen passengers coming from China. In an order, Ministry of Civil Aviation directed Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin airports to make all arrangements to screen passengers arriving China including Hong Kong. Earlier, the ministry had ordered Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata airports to scan passengers.

The coronavirus, also known as the Wuhan virus, has spread to Thailand, Japan and South Korea. The number of cases jumped to almost 300 in China, raising the concerns across the world.

Last week, India had issued travel advisory asking citizens to take precautionary measures while visiting to China. According to a report, Health Ministry has also sought details from the Foreign Ministry of those who applied for Indian visa since December 31.

Ministry of Civil Aviation has asked the seven airports to immediately implement the scanning procedure. The ministry chalked out a detailed action plan which should be strictly followed by the airports and all concerned airlines.

1) All the airlines coming from any airport in China including Hong Kong must request the passengers to self-declare their history of fever and cough in last two weeks. There must be an in-flight announcement to inform the travellers about this new rule.

2) If the passenger had travelled to Wuhan city in last 14 days, they should also mention about their travel at port of arrival or to state of health authorities.

3) Airlines staff to guide the passengers in filling up the self-reporting forms before disembarkation, so that the filled up format can be checked by APHO staff on arrival.

4) Airport signage must be displayed boldly at the strategic locations of the seven identified airports including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin airports.

5) There will be thermal screening of the passengers at the airports. Airports must arrange necessary space and provision to install the thermal cameras at the the pre-immigration area.

6) Airlines staff to bring the passengers to the Health counters before the immigration check, said Civil Aviation Ministry.

7) Operational procedures recommended by International Air Transport Association (IATA) with regard to managing suspected communicable disease on board an aircraft must be followed.

8) All passengers and crew who are otherwise healthy should be allowed to continue their onward journey.

9) If the ill passenger or crew member is confirmed as a probable case of Wuhan coronavirus, public health authorities should be notified about the contacts using the passenger locator form.

10) The airports that were identified by the Civil Aviation Ministry for screening the passengers are Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (Mumbai), Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi), Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (Kolkata), Chennai International Airport (Chennai), Kempegowda International Airport (Bengaluru), Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (Hyderabad), Cochin International Airport (Kerala).

The coronavirus has caused alarm because of its genetic similarities to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 650 people across China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

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