Coronavirus screening is underway across Indian airports, with more than 11,000 people being screened at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai alone as the disease continues to ignite panic worldwide.
Coronavirus screening in Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport has covered 11,093 people, as of February 3rd. Other states are undertaking precautionary measures to avert a potential large-scale outbreak and screening is underway at multiple airports across the country. At the end of January, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare confirmed that airports in Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Trichy, Trivandrum, Varanasi, and Vizag would undertake coronavirus screening.
At the time of writing, mainland China has reported more than 24,000 infections and 492 fatalities have been confirmed. Cases have been reported in more than two dozen countries worldwide including India, where Kerala declared a state calamity after confirming its third case of the disease in recent days. All three confirmed coronavirus patients were students who returned from the Hubei Province’s capital city Wuhan, where the outbreak originated.
Coronavirus screening efforts are being scaled up across India. The Airport Authority of India (AAI) is cooperating with state governments to establish coronavirus screening and testing facilities at most airports in northeast India and checkpoints are being set up along India’s borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar in the states of Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has not declared the novel coronavirus to be a pandemic. However, it has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. It is only the sixth public health event to be declared as such. The designation signifies “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response” – and heightens the need for proactive and preventive measures such as coronavirus screening as is being seen in India.