Kenya Airways passenger with ‘Coronavirus symptoms’ quarantined

Tuesday January 28 2020

 

Nairobi. A passenger who arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport with flu-like symptoms has been quarantined at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) over fears of the coronavirus, reports Citizen TV.

A statement from Kenya Airways confirmed that the Kenyan passenger had travelled to Nairobi from Guangzhou on Tuesday.

“Decision to quarantine the passenger was reached by the Kenya Government port health authorities stationed at JKIA,” the statement reads.

Reports indicate that the passenger had been cleared to travel back home by China Port health authorities at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.

According to Kenya Airways, the procedure at the airport of departure is that all passengers are required to undergo quarantine screening by the health authorities before being cleared to board any aircraft.

The airline further indicated that their crew, guided by the ICAO protocols, still took further precautionary measures including isolating the passenger for the entire trip.

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When the passenger arrived at the JKIA, they were still required to undergo further screening.

Kenya Airways operates nonstop flights from Nairobi capital to Guangzhou.

Meanwhile in Ivory Coast, health authorities are investigating a suspected case of Wuhan coronavirus in a female student who arrived from China, officials have said.

The student, whom authorities have not named, is the first person to be tested for the virus on the continent. The virus has killed at least 100 people in the mainland Chinese city of Wuhan.

The 34-year-old student traveled from Beijing to the Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport in Abidjan on Saturday and was coughing, sneezing and experienced difficulty breathing, Ivory Coast’s Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene said in statement.

The student was moved to a safe location upon arrival at the airport and is currently under medical observation, the ministry said.

Authorities believe it is highly likely a case of pneumonia and not coronavirus, but the final diagnosis will be made after the analysis of the results of the test, the ministry said.

Michel Yao, WHO Africa emergency response program manager, said the agency had advised health ministers in the region to activate standard flu screening at airports for passengers coming from mainland China.

Residents are urged not to panic, to maintain proper hygiene, and to visit the closest health center in case of fever, cough, or breathing difficulties.

More than 2700 coronavirus cases have been confirmed, prompting countries around the world, including Nigeria to shore up surveillance and screening at airports, especially for travelers arriving from Wuhan in China where the outbreak began in December.

Aviation authorities in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, said airlines operating in its airspace should update crew members on how to handle sick passengers on board their aircrafts.

Pilots must report such cases to health officials on landing while also encouraging sick travelers to seek help before leaving the airport, Nigeria’s Federal Airport Agency said in a statement