Friday, March 06, 2020

Coronavirus scare: All international flyers to undergo thermal check at Kolkata airport; Singapore advisory withdrawn

Kolkata: Health officials at Kolkata airport have begun universal screening at the international wing, bringing more than 4,000 flyers a day under the ambit of thermal check to detect fever. On Thursday afternoon, the National Disaster Relief Force held a training and orientation programme for all ground-handling staff on Covid-19 virus and ways to prevent its spread at the airport.

So far, more than 45,000 passengers have been screened at the airport since January 17. The check, which initially began on flyers from China and Hong Kong, was extended to those arriving from other South-East Asian countries, including Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia from February 2. Last week, the list was extended to Nepal and Singapore. But with the virus now spreading to 78 countries, the ministry of health and family welfare has asked airports to make thermal screening mandatory for all flyers from abroad. “Passengers arriving in Gulf carriers, flights from South-East Asia as well as South Asian countries Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka are being screened. Earlier, only flyers with recent travel history to China, South Korea, Iran, Italy and Japan had to undergo mandatory thermal screening. Later, Macau, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan were added to the list,” said a senior airport official.
Flyers of all international flights entering India from any airport are to submit a self-declaration forms with personal details, like numbers and addresses in India and travel history to health and immigration officials at the airport.
On Thursday, the central advisory removed Singapore from the travel restriction advisory. But flyers arriving from there will continue to be screened. Though Singapore Airlines officials are relieved that the city nation has been taken off the restricted-travel list, they aren’t sure when traffic loads would normalise
06/03/20 Times of India
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