DHS to set up thermal screening facility at Dabolim airport
"We will set up a desk at the pre-immigration counter, which will have health personnel for thermal screening of symptomatic passengers coming from China."
-Dr Utkarsh Betodkar, Epidemiologist
PANAJI: In the wake of the new coronavirus named ‘2019-nCoV’ gradually spreading beyond shores of China and a suspected patient admitted in Goa Medical College (GMC), the Government of India has listed Dabolim international airport as one of the 13 additional airports that will have facility for thermal screening of passengers arriving from China having symptoms of the disease, Goa State Epidemiologist Dr Utkarsh Betodkar said on Wednesday.
In view of this development, the Directorate of Health Services (DHS), Government of Goa will be providing the requisite support to the airport authorities for conducting the thermal screening.
The 2019-nCoV or Wuhan coronavirus has spread to 19 countries and territories worldwide, with 6,152 confirmed cases and 132 deaths as of January 29, 2020.
“Goa has been included for screening coronavirus at the airport. The DHS will be providing support to airport authorities with necessary equipment and staff. We will set up a desk at the pre-immigration counter, which will have health personnel for thermal screening of symptomatic passengers coming from China,” Dr Betodkar told GT.
Apart from equipment, the DHS will also put up signage that will urge the passengers coming from China with symptoms to self-report at the DHS counter.
Dr Betodkar further informed that the sample of patient suspected of coronavirus admitted in GMC will reach National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune for testing today (Wednesday) evening. The result would be known by tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon.
“The other travellers who came with the suspected person from China do not have any health issues. They are doing fine,” the State Epidemiologist informed.
Union Health Minister Dr Harshvardhan on Tuesday had informed that thermal screening of passengers for possible exposure to the deadly novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection will be extended to 20 airports from the existing seven. Goa airport is one of the 13 airports.
At present thermal screening is done at seven designated airports New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi. Around 35,000 passengers have been screened at these airports so far. According to the Minister, samples of 20 persons which have been tested for nCoV so far have all resulted negative.
What is thermal screening?
· A thermographic camera (or infrared camera) detects infrared light (or heat) invisible to the human eye.
· It is useful for various applications, including security, surveillance
· It can pinpoint and diagnosis problems within the human body.