Airport becomes line of defence against disease

2020-04-03 11:00:40China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

Medical workers on duty at Taiyuan Wusu International Airport. (SHI XIAOBO/FOR CHINA DAILY)

North China's Shanxi province has been pulling out all the stops to curb the spread of imported COVID-19 cases, as the pandemic continues to grow globally.

Since March 21, Taiyuan, capital city of Shanxi, has become a first entry port for international flights due to arrive in Beijing, according to local officials. All passengers must be tested for the virus, with those cleared of the pathogen allowed to re-board the aircraft to Beijing.

As the front line for Shanxi's control of imported cases of COVID-19 infections, Taiyuan Wusu International Airport is "fully armed" to fight back, said local officials.

Led by Shanxi Governor Lin Wu, an emergency work group has been established at the airport. Involving customs, immigration inspection, health and public security departments, the work group is responsible for taking turns on duty at the airport around the clock.

"For international flights, the emergency operation center of the Taiyuan airport will obtain detailed information of each flight from the Civil Aviation Administration of China and airlines three hours in advance. The information includes the aircraft type, crew, passenger information and the physical condition of the crew and passengers during the flight," said Wang Xiangdong, chairman of the airport.

After landing, airport staff members will lead passengers to measure temperatures. Passengers with fever will be transferred by local disease control departments. Those with normal temperatures will be taken over by different cities to designated quarantine facilities, Wang added.

In addition, a special rest area for international passengers has been set up at the airport, providing them with real-time information and services.

Taiyuan Customs has established a team at the airport to help with nucleic acid tests. The team consists of 100 staff members with education backgrounds in medicine and foreign languages, and work experience in travel inspection.

Responding to the emergency, an overwhelming proportion of returnees are offering truthful information registration and cooperation for testing and quarantine.

Su Shan, a student studying business administration in the United Kingdom, returned to Taiyuan on March 28, as the pandemic outbreak in the UK left her classes suspended.

"I am waiting for the test results. If it is negative, I will go to a designated hotel for 14-day quarantine. Only when I confirm I am without the virus can I ask my family to take me home. I am sure to cooperate with domestic epidemic prevention and control authorities," Su said.

Liang Shujuan, deputy director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shanxi provincial government, said when considering whether to return home from abroad, expats should keep an eye on the latest prevention and control measures taken in Shanxi and abide by local rules and regulations.

As long-distance travel does have certain risks, travelers should make prudent decisions and protect themselves from the risk of infection, Liang added.


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