Asia - Pacific

Southeast Asia ups airport security fearing fatal virus

Coronavirus has spread from China to Taiwan, Japan and South Korea

Pizaro Gozali Idrus and Md Kamruzzaman   | 21.01.2020
Southeast Asia ups airport security fearing fatal virus


Travelers from China are being screened at several airports across Southeast Asia in the wake of a deadly viral outbreak which originated in the country.

Singapore's main Changi Airport has made temperature screening compulsory for all visitors arriving from China, Health Minister Lam Pin Min told local media on Tuesday.

Additionally, all individuals with pneumonia who traveled to Wuhan, the Chinese city where the first case was reported, within 14 days before the onset of symptoms will be quarantined, Channel News Asia reported.

The precautions are being taken ahead of a spike in travel in the lead up to the Chinese New Year holiday season.

Authorities in Bangladesh have upped the screening of international passengers at its Dhaka airport, Touhid-ul Ahsan, director of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, told Anadolu Agency.

He added: "We are fully aware and have taken all necessary steps to check every passenger coming from any country including China so that the deadly coronavirus does not spread in Bangladesh."

Currently, dozens of Chinese citizens are working in Bangladesh in different projects and business centers, according to Bangladeshi government records.

Besides, thousands of Bangladeshi people are frequently visiting China for business purposes.

Ashan added: "If any traveler is found with temperature higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, they will be kept in an observation room at the airport and if needed that traveler will be shifted to hospital."

Authorities in Japan and South Korea have also taken similar steps.

The coronavirus which causes pneumonia-like symptoms has jostled authorities in China. At least six people have died and nearly 300 cases reported this month.

Beyond China, the virus has affected people in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.

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