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Wed 22 Jan 2020 10:19 AM

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India to screen passengers arriving from China, Hong Kong at airports

Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkota, Bengaluru and Kochi are among the identified airports where thermal screening of passengers will be done

India to screen passengers arriving from China, Hong Kong at airports

A man (L) uses a thermographic camera to screen the head of people at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, following the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's advisory to screen passengers arriving in India from China and Hong Kong regarding the novel coronavirus (nCoV) issue. Image: Ministry of Civil Aviation/AFP

India has directed the screening of passengers arriving from China and Hong Kong at seven airports in the country, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kochi, for symptoms of corona virus (nCoV) disease.

The directives, issued by the Federal Civil Aviation ministry, include a thermal screening of passengers at select airports, with specific instructions to airline staff to bring passengers to the health counters before guiding them to the immigration desks.

Chennai, Kolkota and Hyderabad are the other airports where the passenger screening has been ordered currently, a civil aviation ministry statement said.

The action plan rolled out by the ministry directed airlines to make in-flight announcements requesting passengers with a history of fever and cough and history of travel to Wuhan City in the last 14 days to self-declare at the port of arrival to facilitate early isolation of infected persons.

“If the ill passenger or crew member is confirmed as a probable case of Wuhan Corona Virus, public health authorities should be notified about the contacts using the Passenger Locator Form,” the statement said.

The increased vigilance by India comes after China reported at least six deaths due to the mysterious Novel Corona Virus, with a further 300 people infected, mostly in Wuhan City.

The civil aviation ministry has called for immediate implementation of the action plan and strict adherence by identified airports and all concerned airlines.

Airlines have also been asked to follow operational procedures recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) with regard to managing communicable disease on board an aircraft.

Travellers, who have visited the affected city and do not have any symptoms on arrival, but develop above-mentioned symptoms within 28 days of arrival in India India, should have been asked to visit nearest hospital facility and report to the State/District Health Authorities and concerned Airport Health Officer.

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