The Ministry of Civil Aviation has directed the airports for setting up logistics support and arrangements with regard to screening of passengers arriving from China, including Hong Kong. The direction has been issued to Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Cochin airports. Earlier, the same instruction was issued to Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata airports. The move comes on the basis of advisories received from Ministry of Health regarding the threat of ‘Novel Corona Virus Disease’ in Wuhan, Hubei province of China.
The ministry has also called for immediate implementation of the action plan and strict adherence by identified airports and all concerned airlines. The ministry has asked the airlines to make an in-house announcement for passengers regarding the history of fever and cough and the history of travelling to China’s Wuhan city in the last 14 days to ‘self-declare at the port of arrival or to State Health Authorities.’
The MoCA has even directed the airlines to guide passengers in filing up the self-reporting forms before disembarkation so that the filled up format can be checked by APHO staff on arrival.
There will be a health screening facility at all the above-mentioned seven airports. Before the immigration check, the passengers will be brought near the health counters where Thermal Screening of passengers will be undertaken.
"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" reads the official statement.
The airlines have to follow the operational procedures as laid down by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) with regard to managing the suspected communicable disease on board an aircraft.
Apart from Wuhan city, Beijing and Shanghai have reported the cases of coronavirus. According to the World Health Organisation, the Coronaviruses are zoonotic i.e. they are transmitted between animals and people. The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified as the causative agent by the Chinese authorities on January 07, 2020.