Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Airport screening unlikely to deter spread of pandemic

Some of the Covid-19 affected passengers recently screened at the Thiruvananthapuram and Delhi airports did not show any symptoms of the disease. The ineffectiveness of screening at airports is corroborated by a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) document, which says most recent data indicates 46 per cent of infected travellers would not be detected by airport screening.

"This suggests that unlike the 2009 H1N1 epidemic, which found that airport entry screening was associated with an average delay of 7-12 days in local transmission, for COVID-19, airport screening is unlikely to detect a sufficient proportion of infected travellers and prevent entry of infected travellers. Some countries have decided to raise the threshold for airport screening, to capture those with potentially less severe symptoms. This may have greater impact on disease transmission through air travel, but this requires further investigation to determine whether this makes a difference", said the WHO research and development Blue Print on research to prevent the disease.
17/03/20 Business Today

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