Virus scare prompts health checks

BANGKOK, 7 January 2020: Thailand’s main airports are conducting health checks on Chinese passengers arriving on flights from Wuhan in China.

Six airports under the management of the Airports of Thailand launched strict measures to monitor passengers following recent cases of viral pneumonia reported in Wuhan.

Other airports in Southeast Asia are also monitoring the health of passengers disembarking on flights from Wuhan.

The surveillance is limited to passengers arriving on flights from Wuhan, in response to news that the Chinese government is investigating an outbreak provisionally identified as pneumonia.

Based on preliminary examinations, it was found that it was not a common influenza virus, avian flu, or other common respiratory diseases.

The six airports are Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok, Phuket Airport, Chiang Mai Airport, Hat Yai Airport and Mae Fah Luang Airport Chiang Rai.

The checks are limited at Suvarnabhumi Airport to China Southern Airlines that operates three flights daily and at Don Mueang Airport to Thai Air Asia that has two flights daily. 

China Southern Airlines also operates charter services up and through Chinese New Year season until 4 February, and Air China flies from Wuhan, 80 km southwest of Shanghai to Chiang Mai in North Thailand.

All six airports have medical equipment that measures body temperature. Airlines have also been told to be report passengers who show flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose.