The coronavirus has spread to 25 more countries in a month, inviting border closures and health emergencies declared by a number of countries. The virus that originated in Wuhan, the most populated city of Hubei Province, in Central China, has been spreading at a rapid pace despite the preventive measures being taken by the Chinese authorities. Deaths caused by the 2019 coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been increasing at a rapid pace and had reached 815 out of 37,612 confirmed cases in 28 countries, as of 9 February.
Meanwhile, Airports Council International (ACI) World has highlighted guidance for airports following the 2019-nCoV outbreak. The advisory bulletin, ‘Transmission of Communicable Diseases’, is intended as guidance for airports that can be modified to the local situation as necessary and used in discussion with local authorities and national regulators when determining appropriate actions. The top priority should be the swift agreement between the airport and the relevant authority of responsibility and accountability for measures, according to the organisation. ACI World’s guidance complements region-specific advice issued by ACI Asia-Pacific to its members. “The health and welfare of travellers, staff and the public, and the reduction of the opportunities for dissemination of communicable diseases, are the priorities for the aviation industry following the recent novel coronavirus outbreak,” ACI World director general Angela Gittens said.
“The guidance we have issued reiterates a number of options and best practices that airports and national authorities can use to protect against communicable diseases that might pose a serious risk to public health. The recommendations are designed to reduce exposure to an infectious agent at airports and to improve the response to health-related emergencies by establishing standards and procedures for rapid decision making and action,” Gittens added.