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Home / India News / Kerala sets up screening centres in major airports to detect coronavirus

Kerala sets up screening centres in major airports to detect coronavirus

Kerala’s health department has also issued a circular directing all passengers who have travelled to China recently to report to district medical officers immediately.

india Updated: Jan 22, 2020 19:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
28 passengers were screened at the Cochin Internatinal Airport tested negative for coronavirus.
28 passengers were screened at the Cochin Internatinal Airport tested negative for coronavirus.(CIAL)

The Kerala government has set up screening centres in many airports in the state on the advice of the Centre in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in China, official said Wednesday.

In the Cochin international airport screening centres have been set up for incoming passengers.

“So far 28 passengers, who came directly from the affected areas have undergone screening test and all tests were negative, No alarming situation inferred,” said a statement from the Cochin International Airport Limited. It said special masks and gloves were distributed to all officials deployed in the international arrival area of the airport.

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The state health department has also issued a circular directing all passengers who have travelled to China recently to report to district medical officers immediately. It also reviewed preparedness in all major hospitals in the state. So far risk level remains so low but state health minister K K Shailaja has asked officials to be on high alert. “No need of any panic. But it is always good to take precautions,” she said.

The deadly virus was first reported in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei province, has claimed nine lives so far and infected 440 people, reports from China say. In a bid to contain the virus, China’s national health commission has asked residents of Wuhan not to leave the city. Scientists believe that virus which was detected in the last week of December can spread from person to person in close contact through the respiratory tract.

On January 17, authorities at three international airports - Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata – began thermal screening of passengers returning from China.

Kerala had effectively contained an outbreak of another dangerous virus ‘nipah’ two years ago and initiated many steps for medical emergencies.

The state had won many laurels for effectively containing the nipah outbreak two years ago. Health experts had hit a blind alley in initial stages of the outbreak in north Kerala in May 2018 because nipah was an unknown virus and had no history of treatment. But officials and a team of dedicated doctors responded valiantly and contained its secondary infection and nursed two nipah-positives patients back to health. Seventeen people died in the nipah outbreak in 2018. In 2019, a case was reported but it was contained locally.