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Mumbai airport to screen stranded Indians returning from Ebola-hit Liberia

Elaborate precautionary arrangements have been put in place at the Mumbai Airport here to screen the 112 stranded Indians, who are expected to arrive early on Tuesday by various flights from and around the Ebola-hit Liberia, authorities said here today.

"As part of the tentative plan, the aircraft will be first taken to a remote bay and all passengers will be screened at the step-ladder exit after the arrival of flights at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA)," Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) said here.

Besides, while the passengers without any symptoms will be cleared and shifted to terminal for immigration and customs clearance, those coming from Liberia with symptoms suggestive of EVD, will be directly shifted to designated hospital in ambulance from the bay, it said.

According to MIAL, Ethiopian Airline, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, Jet and South African Airways are flying these passengers to Mumbai. Some of these passengers will first arrive in Delhi and then come to Mumbai by domestic airlines flight, MIAL said.

Mial also said the baggage of the flights need to be kept separate by the concerned airline in their custody, adding disinfection of the flight will be carried out once all passengers would be deboarded.

Flights will be allowed to board next passengers only after thirty minutes of disinfection, it added. 

Here is a country-wise break-up of how many cases have been observed in each of the above four countries (as on August 24). The numbers have been sourced from the health ministries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, and WHO.

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. This map will be updated as and when fresh data arrives. Numbers may change as the ministries update their reports.

(interactive stats and data compiled by Saurabh Datar)

Ebola Facts

What is Ebola Virus Disease?
It is a severe, often fatal viral illness seen in humans, chimpanzees, monkeys and gorillas. Though its source is unknown, according to WHO, fruit bats (Ptrepopodidae) are considered likely hosts of the virus, as per current evidence. The first cases were observed in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, one near the Ebola River in Democratic Republic of Congo, and the other in remote Sudan.

How is it transmitted?
In the current outbreak, infection is human-to-human. It is transmitted due to direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, or other bodily fluids (stool, urine, saliva, semen) of infected people.

What are its symptoms?
Sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, sore throat, headache. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rashes, internal and external bleeding. Kidney and liver functioning is also affected.

How can it be prevented?
There is currently no medicine or vaccine for Ebola.

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