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AOT checkpoints to vet passengers from Wuhan over mysterious virus

Jan 05. 2020
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Airports of Thailand (AOT) is closely monitoring the situation of viral pneumonia from Wuhan, China, with six airports ready to cope with the situation by setting up international communicable diseases control checkpoints.

Preliminary checkpoints will watch 10 flights from Wuhan to four major Thai airports.

AOT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said that the AOT was informed by the Department of Disease Control that Chinese authorities are investigating the disease and its likely cause. Preliminary examination showed that it was not a common influenza virus, avian influenza, adenovirus or other common respiratory diseases.

The AOT, which manages six major airports in Thailand -- Suvarnabhumi Airport, Don Mueang Airport, Phuket International Airport, Chiang Mai Airport, Hat Yai Airport, and Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport -- has told its staff to be on alert for any suspected cases of pneumonia.

China Southern Airlines flies three flights per day to Suvarnabhumi Airport; Thai Air Asia flies twice a day to Don Mueang Airport; Thai Air Asia flies twice a day and China Southern Airlines operates only during the Chinese New Year season (January 10 to February 3) to Phuket International Airport; Chiang Mai Airport receives three flights per week by Air China (Tuesday, Friday and Sunday).

AOT's six airports are coordinating and monitoring the situation by requesting cooperation for the flights to land at specific points where the disease control checkpoint has been set up to measure body temperature in order to filter suspected virus carriers before passengers can proceed to the immigration checkpoint.

AOT also has increased the frequency of cleaning bathrooms.

In addition, for people travelling from risky areas, especially young children and the elderly, those who experience symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or runny nose can ask to see a doctor or health official immediately due to the possibility of pneumonia complications.

For more information, call the Department of Disease Control on hotline Tel1422 and passengers can inquire about AOT's flights and services at AOT call centre 1722, 24 hours.

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