Four days after thermal screening for the Novel coronavirus (nCoV) began at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), in their daily report to the central government, officials stated that no suspected cases had been found, so far.
The Mumbai airport began thermal screening on January 17, following the Centre’s advisory to Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata about possible nCoV infection from China. Daily, about 170 to 180 passengers from China are being screened at the airport.
Coronavirus, which spreads from animals to humans, can cause common cold and severe infection in the form of Middle-East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV). From 2012 to November 2019, 2,494 MERS-CoV cases have been reported worldwide.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), the latest outbreak in China was reported in December last year when pneumonia cases with unknown cause were noticed. “A novel coronavirus was identified as the causative virus by Chinese authorities on January 7,” the WHO reported.
Its symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, fever and respiratory problems. China has, to date, recorded 200 cases of the new type of virus; the outbreak being mainly from one seafood market in Wuhan.
On January 15, Japan also reported a novel coronavirus (nCoV) case after a Japanese returned from China with the infection.
“In Mumbai, passengers with symptoms will be quarantined at the airport hospital itself,” said Dr Anup Kumar Yadav, director of the National Health Mission, Maharashtra. He added that, so far, no other hospital had been allocated for isolating passengers who were suspected to be infected.
State epidemiologist Dr Pradeep Awate said, “The infection has, so far, maintained a low profile. Human to human transmission has not been established yet. In the state, we are also carefully scrutinising respiratory infections but there are no cases here.”
The international airport has activated a thermal screener at the pre-immigration area for passengers arriving from China. At present, the airport operates two flights from China ? Air China and Rwand Air.
The airport has also put into its service seven ambulances, of which four are equipped with advanced life support for emergency cases. A ten-bed mini hospital is also located in the airport premises.
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