New Delhi, February 14: India's aviation regulator on Friday ordered international airports across the nation to screen all passengers arriving from Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore. Before the directive issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), only passengers arriving from China and Hong Kong were to be screened for the novel coronavirus.
The DGCA order came a day after a passenger who landed in Delhi from Bangkok on a SpiceJet flight, was suspected to have contracted the deadly COVID-19. The airlines, however, issued a statement on Friday to clarify that the said passenger has tested negative for coronavirus. COVID-19: Third Indian Tests Positive For Coronavirus on Diamond Princess Cruise Ship Docked Off Japan.
"The passenger travelling on SpiceJet flight SG-88 to Delhi from Bangkok yesterday, who was suspected to have been infected with coronavirus has tested negative for the infection," the SpiceJet spokesperson was reported as saying.
Update by ANI
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA): In order to prevent the spread of #CoronaVirus in India, it has been decided to expand universal screening for all passengers arriving in flights,directly from Japan,South Korea,Thailand&Singapore, besides flights from
China&Hong Kong pic.twitter.com/i4GXzH8Wp9
— ANI (@ANI) February 14, 2020
The SARS-like novel coronavirus, which originated in December from the Chinese province of Hubei, has claimed the lives of over 1,000 people so far. While most of the fatalities were recorded in China, deaths were also reported in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The far-east and southeast Asian region is under a state of alarm to prevent the further spread of the virus.
India, which shares borders with China, has so far recorded three cases of coronavirus. The victims were medical students, pursuing education in China's Wuhan when they had contracted the virus. They were detected with COVID-19 after they were brought back to India. One among them has been discharged, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday, while two others have significantly decreased the "viral load".