Pune airport issues high alert for MERS

Jul 18, 2014, 05:27 IST | Anuj Ismail

After several new cases of passengers detected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) around the world, Pune airport authority has incorporated precautionary measures for flights coming from Middle East

As the number of fatal cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) increases around the world, Pune airport recently issued a notice to all airlines to take precautionary measures and examine passengers coming from the Middle East.


The MERS is a respiratory disease caused by a corona virus known as MERSCoV, which was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Corona viruses can cause anything from a common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Corona viruses
Corona viruses can cause anything from a common cold to SARS. PIC/THINKSTOCK

Speaking to mid-day, Manoj Gangal, Pune Airport Director, said, “We have circulated a notice to all airlines to examine passengers who show symptoms of MERS, like diarrhoea, fever, cough and cold. Passengers coming from Sharjah and Dubai are being thoroughly examined by doctors at the airport.”


Gangal added that they have also displayed posters inside the airport premises, and a short film about MERS is being played on the television around the clock. “These precautions will be in place until further notice. As of now, we have not had any cases of MERS,” said Gangal

The chairman of Pune Airlines  Operators Committee (PAOC), Dhairyashil Vandekar, said, “We have taken up this issue with the airport authority and are working closely with them. We are also making announcements in the flights and following all the steps as advised by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The airport staff has also been informed about the virus. We are happy that the airport authority is working on this issue. Going by the size of the airport, we have also requested the director to appoint a health officer in due course of time.”

Pune-Middle East flights being checked

Spice Jet: Four flights per week between Pune and Sharjah (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday)
Air India: Three flights per week between Pune and Dubai (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday)

Symptoms of MERS
>> Fever, cough, cold, shortness of breath
>> Pneumonia
>> Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea
>> Severe illness can cause respiratory failure, organ failure, or septic shock

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