Beirut Airport Is Taking Preventive Measures Against Coronavirus

Rafic Hariri International Airport has issued memos to airlines and operating ground services that the Ministry of Public Health has taken necessary measures to prevent transmission of the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to Lebanon.  

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), patients that have contracted the virus initially had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. 

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus that has caused an outbreak of respiratory illness that originated in Wuhan, China. It is a mild to severe respiratory illness that includes fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

WHO Situation report, which was issued on January 24, has confirmed 846 cases and 25 reported deaths. 

So far, the countries that have already reported cases of coronavirus are France, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, and Vietnam.

Accordingly, the WHO issued an updated recommendation for international traffic since human-to-human transmission of that virus has been confirmed.

WHO recommended International travel guidelines, including measures to be implemented to limit the risk. However, the organization believes that it is unnecessary to restrict international travel.

According to WHO, the measures that should be implemented for entry screening in countries/areas without transmission of this virus include:

  • Temperature screening at entry, accompanied by data collection and analysis of screened travelers and confirmed cases, as well as the method of screening. 
  • Raising awareness about signs and symptoms at points of entry through posters, leaflets, and electronic bulletin. 
  • Encourage people to seek health care if they suspect that they carry the virus.
  • Public health authorities should reinforce collaboration with airline operators for case management onboard aircraft and reporting. 

All travelers having symptoms of Coronavirus are encouraged to seek medical attention and share travel history with their health care provider.

Health practitioners, travel health clinics, travel agencies, and conveyance operators at points of entry are encouraged to provide travel information and educate the public on how to reduce exposure and transmission.

Consequently, Beirut airport added new thermal cameras to find out who has a high temperature, and after which a comprehensive examination is performed.

Airlines transporting passengers into Lebanon from China, Thailand, and other countries that have reported cases of Coronavirus are now required to fill a form, including their contact numbers and addresses, and hand it over to the airport quarantine department.

The department can be contacted at 01/629352 or its president at 03/282258. 

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