Athens International Airport (AIA) has moved ahead with a series of measures to halt the potential spread of the Wuhan virus including monitoring suspected incoming travelers and crews.
More specifically, Greece’s National Public Health Organization (EODY) is monitoring the possibility of suspected cases on all direct flights from China through the use of infrared thermometers on passengers and aircraft crew traveling on board certain flights; informing passengers with posters (in Chinese) posted at AIA arrival and departure points; and distributing leaflets with all the necessary information about health services provided in Chinese.
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has so far infected some 25,000 people across the globe and taken the lives of almost 500.
Meanwhile, airline crews have been provided World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines which require staff to immediately inform travelers of any suspected cases. Travelers are obliged to report to the health officer if they have been in close contact with the suspected case and/or if they have become/feel ill. Cases will then be recorded and further instruction given.
General recommendations include washing hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub; covering nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow; avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms; and cooking meat and eggs thoroughly.
Meanwhile, in relevant news, the Piraeus Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed concerns over the potential financial backlash of the coronavirus outbreak, which is already impacting tourism businesses, cruise travel, and Athens Stock Market activity.
It should be noted that some 7,000 passengers are being held on board two luxury cruise liners in Hong Kong and Yokohama as health inspections are underway. WHO official said on Tuesday that 684 people had recovered from coronavirus infections.