Coronavirus: Passengers aboard KQ flight from China monitored  

Wednesday March 18 2020
kq-pic

A Kenya Airways plane in flight. Passengers aboard the Kenya Airways Flight KQ887 from Guangzhou, China, are being monitored following their last known contact with the patient suspected of having the coronavirus. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NASIBO KABALE

Passengers aboard the Kenya Airways Flight KQ887 that jetted into the country Tuesday morning from Guangzhou, China, are being monitored following their last known contact with the patient suspected of having the coronavirus.

Acting Director-General at the Ministry of Health Dr Patrick Amoth said that through a contact tracing system, they have identified and followed up with persons who may have come into contact with the patient.

SYMPTOMS

He said that they have since been advised to be on the lookout for symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty in breathing.

“Through continuous communication with Kenya Airways we have asked that they give us the passenger manifest and sent alerts to all passengers to present themselves to the nearest facility should they exhibit any symptoms,” he said.

According to the World Health Organisation, all close contacts should be monitored for 21 days following their last known exposure to the case, and be isolated if they become ill.

The deadly virus originating from the Chinese city of Wuhan has put the country on high alert with the port health services conducting screening and monitoring of transportation links of passengers.

SCREENING

The Head of Port Health Services at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Mr Benjamin Murkomen said that screening of flights from China on arrival is mandatory and passengers are provided with a face mask the entire trip.

 “There are two flights coming in from China every day and we have trained our team to isolate any passenger who has any of the symptoms as we their temperature with thermal scanners,” he said.

Kenya Airways and the China Southern Airlines flights arrive at the airport at around 6am and patients are required to offer information regarding their travel history as well as address and telephone numbers should the need to track them arise.

Mr Murkomen said that disinfectants, hand sanitizers and surgical masks are being supplied on all China flights and that aircraft disinfection protocol has been put in place for flights where suspected cases may be reported.