The Lunar New Year holiday season is beginning in China this weekend and it’s usually a time when hundreds of millions of Chinese go on vacation. Unfortunately, this year it’s coinciding with the outbreak of a pneumonia-like illness in China that’s being reported to be increasing at an alarming rate.
The vast majority of coronavirus cases have been in the Chinese city of Wuhan, however, cases have also been identified in Japan, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. Airlines all over the world are preparing to take the utmost precautions:
Wuhan: the entire city (population: 11 million) is currently quarantined and the airport, subways, ferries and long-distance shuttle buses are all closed.
United States: Prior to the Wuhan travel shutdown, U.S.-bound travelers from Wuhan were being routed to five airports (Atlanta-Hartsfield, John F. Kennedy, Los Angeles Int’l, O’Hare and San Francisco Int’l) for screening. Other U.S. airports that are not fully set up for screenings know to give passengers who may be at risk information about coronavirus. A spokesperson for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the agency is working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to implement travel and screening plans. The CDC has also developed a test to detect the new coronavirus and plans to share the tool with domestic and international partners.
Abu Dhabi: has started a screening process for all passengers arriving from China
Australia: Before the flights from Wuhan were canceled, the 3 flights a week that landed in Sydney were met with border security and biosecurity staff. The health officials were now determining if any of the other 160 flights per week from China would have people who had traveled from Wuhan at some point.
Bahrain: is taking “preemptive measures” at Manama International Airport
Bangladesh: doctors at the airport are screening incoming passengers from China and looking for fevers, coughs, breathing difficulties and sore throats. The country’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research will be notified of any passengers with symptoms for further examination.
Canada: international passengers will have to undergo additional screening such as temperature and other symptomatic checks, as well as inquiries about visits to Wuhan in the recent past, to check for the possibility of having contracted the infection.
China: Airports are screening passengers and are immediately admitting those with even the slightest symptoms, to receive special care
Dubai International Airport: all passengers arriving on direct flights from China will receive thermal screening at the gate upon arrival and will be provided with informational brochures. The screenings will be conducted at secured, closed gates.
Egypt: Cairo International Airport is deploying doctors with thermal scanners at arrival halls to examine all passengers arriving from China, and hospitalizing those showing signs of the coronavirus illness.
Ethiopia: is waiting for governmental guidance on screening procedures
England: originally deployed doctors and medical inspectors who met planes from Wuhan to monitor for signs of the virus. Since Wuhan has been quarantined, England is currently not screening its passengers arriving at Heathrow from China but were giving them informational leaflets on what to do if they became sick
Germany: is waiting for governmental guidance on screening procedures.
Hong Kong: The one traveler from Wuhan who had the coronavirus was quarantined. Prior to Wuhan Airport being shut down, planes arriving from the city were parked in a specially designated area and cleaning and disinfection was being increased.
India: Arriving passengers from China and Hong Kong are being screened at the pre-immigration areas of the airports. Thermal cameras are being installed and airport signage is being displayed.
Iran: the country is screening Chinese passengers who enter the country at Imam Komeini airport
Italy: Italian Red Cross officials were present at Rome’s Fiumicino airport to meet the last flight from Wuhan before the Chinese city was quarantined. The 202 passengers were taken to a special sterile area for a screening of their body temperature by health workers who wore sanitary suits, goggles and masks. None of the passengers appeared to have the virus.
Japan: officials are stepping up quarantine checks at airports and other entry points
Kenya: has begun screening passengers from China
Nigeria: has begun screening passengers from China
North Korea: The country has temporarily closed its borders to all foreign tourists.
Russia: is screening travelers who arrive from China to detect passengers who might have been infected by the coronavirus. The Russian public health service has said it has developed a testing kit that would allow labs to detect the new coronavirus quickly.
Saudi Arabia: is screening airline passengers who arrive on direct and indirect flights from China.
Singapore: all inbound travelers on flights arriving from China will go through temperature screening as they arrive at Changi Airport
South Africa: has begun screening passengers from China
South Korea: Airline crew flying to and from South Korean airports are being offered HAZMAT suits. The planes are also being disinfected more frequently.
Thailand: officials are screening passengers arriving from Beijing and Shenzhen, which also have recorded cases of the infection.
Vietnam: is installing equipment to measure body temperature in order to screen people. Monitoring will be increased during the Lunar New Year holidays
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary