Mangalore, Aug 8, 2014 : Even as matters worsened in West African countries due to the outbreak of Ebola and airlines around the globe are closely monitoring the situation, there has been no system in place in Indian airports to screen the passengers arriving from epidemic hit countries like Liberia and Guinea.
’Mangalore Today’ web readers may recall a case reported of Wilfred D’Souza, (of Surathkal) who works for a timber company at Liberia. He arrived from Liberia to Mangalore on Aug 5, without screening for Ebola virus at three Indian airports - Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi, Chatrapathi Shivaji International Airport at Mumbai and Mangalore International Airport. He said that screening of passengers was not done though several passengers arrived in India via Brussels. “I was expecting to be quarantined. But, I was shocked to know that no precautionary measures have been initiated here,” he said.
There was no screening of passengers even at Brussels. However, there was screening at Monrovia airport. The team of medical experts were testing patients with Tympanic thermometers. Having witnessed the situation in Liberia, where even hospitals have been closed down due to the fear of virus attack, D’Souza was astonished to know that airports in India have not considered the issue seriously. The staff at Mangalore Airport were not aware of a disease called Ebola, he said. He has returned to India with an intention to stay away from the virus attack. Another 12 Mangaloreans who are staying at Liberia too have made preparations to return, he said.
MIA approaches health dept : Concerned about Ebola outbreak in West African countries and arrival of passengers from the disease-hit nations at Mangalore, the Mangalore International Airport has planned for screening of passengers. Speaking to media, MIA Director Radhakrishna said that there has been no screening system in place at the airport so far. “We have spoken to the district health department to assist us in getting the necessary equipment for screening purpose,” he stated.