Over 9,000 passengers screened at seven airports for Coronavirus

Passengers being screened at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata. The Health Ministry has said that no case has been detected in India so far. Ministry of Civil Aviation

India has stepped up screening efforts at airports with 9,156 passengers from 43 flights screened for coronavirus infection so far. This comes amid an emergency meeting convened by the World Health Organisation and the first case of the novel coronavirus infection being reported in the US.

Thermal screening is being done for passengers arriving from China, including Hong Kong, at the identified international airports of Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Cochin, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

As part of the measures taken by the ministries of Health and Family Welfare and Civil Aviation, a travel advisory has been issued. Posting the advisory for passengers going to China, the health ministry tweeted, “Ms. Preeti Sudan, Secy (HFW) on Novel #coronavirus: We are on alert & our preparedness is sturdy. Passengers travelling from China requested to report to nearest public health facility in case they feel any symptoms.”

According to the WHO, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

Signages have been put up at prominent locations inside the seven international airports in the country to encourage people to report such illness. Immigration officers have been sensitised at these airports.

The Health Ministry is constantly reviewing the scenario in coordination with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of External Affairs, Department of Health Research and the Indian Embassy in China.