With the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issuing an advisory to travellers visiting Saudi Arabia and other Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)-affected countries, officials of the State Health Department said they were routinely screening travellers for fever and other symptoms at airports.

The affected countries include Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, European countries such as France, Germany and Italy, and Malaysia. The Centre had issued the advisory for airlines operating flights to these countries and immigration officials.

Those suffering from cough, fever or shortness of breath or those have been in contact with a person suffering from these symptoms should report to the airport health officer for a basic check-up. Any traveller, who after visiting these countries develops any of these symptoms within 14 days of arrival in India, should visit the nearest medical facility.

A public health official said travellers were routinely screened for fever at the airports. “If a person shows any symptoms, she is sent to the King Institute of Preventive Medicine, Guindy where samples are taken for laboratory tests,” he said.

An officer of the Haj Committee said last year, the committee had coordinated with the Health Department to screen pilgrims at the airport before and after the pilgrimage. The pilgrims will leave for Mecca during September.

Airlines have been advised to keep a stock of triple layer masks, hand sanitizers and disposal bags for any passenger reporting with symptoms of MERS-CoV.

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