Mumbai airport braces for Ebola, BMC, state govt dilly-dally

Aug 08, 2014, 21:32 IST | IANS

A health alert has been sounded at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) to deal with any passenger carrying the Ebola virus

A health alert has been sounded at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) here to deal with any passenger carrying the Ebola virus, airport sources said Friday.

As part of the initiative, all major departments at the airport have been sensitised by the airport health officers on how to deal with any potential Ebola patients.

These include various airlines operating here, the customs, immigration and other departments at the country's busiest international airport.

The saving grace is that there are no direct flights between Mumbai and west Africa, barring three connecting services operated by foreign carriers Emirates, Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines, the sources said.

In contrast, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and the state health department have yet to take any measures to tackle any Ebola cases, if and when the need arises.

A MCGM official said that they are awaiting the instructions from the state health department and would follow their directives.

A senior state health official said that it is the responsibility of the MCGM to take necessary precautions and ensure that nobody carrying the Ebola virus remains undetected or untreated.

The CSIA authorities have also put up boards giving information on Ebola virus disease, its symptoms, the do's and don't's, etc for the benefit of the airport staff as well as the thousands of passengers using it.

In fact, a few years ago during the global outbreak of SARS and H1N1 diseases, the Mumbai airport authorities had successfully screened passengers arriving from the high-risk zones in the world.

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