New Delhi, Jan 21, 2020: The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on Tuesday directed the thermal screening of passengers, arriving in India from China, at seven airports for Coronavirus. The passengers, including those from Hong Kong, will be screened at the Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Cochin, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata airports to check any threat from the ’Novel Corona Virus Disease (nCoV) that started in Wuhan of Hubei province of China, Zee reported.
This comes in continuation to the Advisory from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and National Centre for Disease Control, Directorate General of Health Services, under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, regarding the threat of the disease. The MoCA has called for immediate implementation of the action plan and strict adherence by identified airports and all concerned airlines.
The action plan among others includes the following--
a) In order to facilitate early isolation, In-flight announcements to be made by the airlines (which are directly coming from any airport in China including Hong Kong) requesting passengers with history of fever and cough and history of travel to Wuhan City in last 14 days to self-declare at the port of arrival or to State Health Authorities.
b) 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.
c) Airport signage to be displayed boldly at the strategic locations of these seven identified airports
d) Health Screening at Airports: Thermal Screening of passengers to be undertaken. Provision of space at the pre-immigration area with logistics to install the thermal cameras to be made at these airports. Airlines staff to bring the passengers to the Health counters before the immigration check.
e) Operational procedures recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) with regard to managing the suspected communicable disease on board an aircraft.
f) All passengers and crew who are otherwise healthy should be allowed to continue their onward journey. 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.
Issuing an alert the ministry said that travellers who visited China, particularly through Wuhan City, during past 14 days and are having one or more of the symptoms--Acute onset of Fever, Cough, Shortness of Breath should report to the airport health unit.
Other travellers (those without symptoms) who visited Wuhan and do not have any symptoms on arrival, but develop above-mentioned symptoms within 28 days of arrival in India, should visit nearest hospital facility and report to the state district health authorities and concerned Airport Health Officer.