Passive surveillance at airport by health department

DC | S. SUJATHA
Published Aug 11, 2014, 10:24 am IST
Updated Mar 31, 2019, 1:02 pm IST
Officers at Chennai airport have started passive surveillance for any persons affected by the Ebola virus
Chennai Airport
 Chennai Airport
Chennai:The health department officers at Chennai airport have started passive surveillance for any persons affected by the Ebola virus at the point of entry. This follows a directive from the Centre. 
"We have been advised not to create any panic. We are only following a preventive procedure. Every system is in place and we have alerted all the agencies like airlines, immigration, CISF, Airports Authority of India and their staff about the virus and its visible symptoms," the officer added.
        
The staff at the airport has been instructed to enquire of passengers about fever and inform them about Ebola-virus symptoms. "If there is a suspicion, then they have been advised to refer the passenger to us. We will then send them to any of the above two hospitals. At present we don't do any separate screening even though our officials would be present at the terminal round the clock," the health department officer said.
 
When asked about special equipment for screening, the officer said that the health ministry would arrange for it, as and when required. "We don't have enough manpower or special equipment to screen for the Ebola virus at the airport now. When the health ministry decides to start active screening, then they would help us through the state health directorate and provide us officials and equipment," the officer added.
 
On using 108 ambulance to transport the patient to MMC hospital, the senior airport health officer said that an ambulance would be stationed at the airport depending on the number of passengers. It may be noted that the city airport does not receive any direct flights from African countries. Passengers from Africa travel via Mumbai, Abu Dhabi or Dubai airports to reach Chennai.
 
Ebola risk low in India: Health minister
 
Beyond the epicentre of the epidemic, countries as far away as India were also taking action. Airports in India went on alert and the government opened an emergency helpline. India has nearly 45,000 nationals living in the four Ebola-affected west African nations, and health officials said there was a possibility of some returning to their home country if the outbreak worsens.  Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said India “put in operation the most advanced surveillance and tracking systems” for the haemorrhagic virus. “There is no need to panic,” Vardhan said, calling the risk of Ebola cases in India “low”. 

 

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Location: Tamil Nadu




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