As a result of the recent Coronavirus outbreak, airport authorities have set up strict screening facilities at Visakhapatnam airport. An awareness campaign has been flagged off for international passengers travelling to Visakhapatnam from China via Malaysia and Singapore. In line with the Union Health Ministry’s orders, screening camps have also been set up at the airport to conduct preliminary tests on possible carriers. As per the officials’ statements, no cases have been reported so far.
On Saturday, the Health Ministry directed eleven Airport Authorities across India, including Visakhapatnam airport to display advisories on the latest Coronavirus epidemic. Immigration officials at the airport were sent a circular from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to keep a strict vigil on passengers arriving from China, where the virus first broke out.
All passengers with flu-like symptoms including cold and cough have been kept under the scanner. They will not be allowed to enter the city until the Health Department officials give their approval. Passengers who had arrived into the city in the last 28 days, have also been alerted to be watchful of their health, and report to medical officers in case of flu-like symptoms.
Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata airports have been set up with screening facilities for coronavirus already. While there are no direct flights from Visakhapatnam to any Chinese destination, the airport witnesses travellers arriving from Singapore and Malaysia. As per data from immigration officials, 800 people have travelled to Vizag from these two cities in 2018-19. Currently, international airline Scoot plies flights thrice a week between Visakhapatnam and Singapore. Air Asia operates another thrice-a-week flight to Malaysia.
The rapidly spreading coronavirus has already claimed over fifty lives in China, while new cases are being reported with each passing day.