Fleeing west African nations amid the Ebola scare, all 85 Indians who arrived here from Liberia and Nigeria today were cleared by the Airport Health Organisation as none had any symptoms of the deadly disease. These passengers arrived in three batches with more to follow in the day, Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) said in a statement.
The first group of 20 passengers arrived on board South African Airways flight SA 284 at 5 am from Liberia via Johannesburg and were cleared by the APHO team after screening under supervision of health ministry officials. None of them showed any symptoms of Ebola or had a history of contact with anybody afflicted with the disease, MIAL said.
After disembarkation of all the passengers the aircraft were disinfected by the APHO teams. This was followed by another batch of 46 Indians from Liberia who arrived by Ethopian Airline flight ET 610 soon after.
These passengers were also cleared after going through all the precautionary checks and screening, MIAL officials said. 19 others who came from Nigeria were also screened by APHO team for EVD and cleared, they added.
13 nationals from Ebola-hit Liberia cleared in Delhi
13 Indian nationals, who arrived in Delhi from Liberia today, have been cleared after being screened for the Ebola virus, Health Ministry said today. According to a statement by Health Ministry, of the 13 passengers who reached at Delhi airport, four belong to Delhi.
"All were screened for Ebola and found healthy," said a statement by Health ministry. They are working with M/s Afcons in Liberia and were brought back by International SOS (ISOS) Organization on the request of M/s Afcons. These persons have been screened at the time of exit from Liberia and none of the evacuees had any symptoms prior to travel, informed Medical Director, International SOS.
"Even though developed countries are not screening passengers arriving from Ebola affected countries, as a matter of abundant caution, screening for passengers from affected countries have been put into practice by Government of India," said the statement. As per the guidelines, the high risk category includes those with symptoms and are isolated at the airport, the medium risk category includes those giving history of contact with an Ebola case. They are prioritised for active surveillance.
People in low risk category are those without symptoms and without any contact history, they are informed about helpline numbers to be contacted in case they developing symptoms subsequently. The Union Health Ministry has asked the state governments to do rigorous tracking and monitoring of these passengers. The concerned states have been alerted for follow up of these passengers on daily basis. "No case of Ebola Virus Disease has been detected in India," reiterated Health Ministry today.
Ebola is not an airborne infection. A person has to come in very close contact with the blood and body fluids of an Ebola Patient to acquire this infection, said officials. According to sources at the Delhi Airport, passengers coming from infected countries are asked to fill up a form mentioning whether they have shown any symptoms related to Ebola. They are then made to pass through a thermal scanner and anybody who has temperatures above the normal temperature - showing signs of fever - are isolated and then taken to hospital for further tests. It is also being checked if a passenger has come in contact with someone who has had Ebola Virus Disease. A quarantine-cum-isolation health facility has been set up at Delhi Airport.
The interactive map below shows different regions/counties in the respective countries where the disease has occurred. The bigger the bubble, the more the number of cases seen there. (Note: For Guinea, the county-wise numbers are not available. Hence, Conakry, the capital, where quite a lot of cases had been observed, has been used as a reference.) According to the Nigerian health ministry, all cases in their country have been restricted to Lagos. Other ministries have provided a distribution of cases.
(interactive stats and data compiled by Saurabh Datar)