Goa asks Centre to install thermal scanners at Dabolim

Goa asks Centre to install thermal scanners at Dabolim airport

Woman wearing a face mask uses her cellphone as she walks outside Beijing Railway Station as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Beijing

The Goa government on Thursday urged Union Health Ministry to install thermal scanners at the state's lone airport to detect suspected cases of the novel coronavirus, whose outbreak has been reported from China.

Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Thursday he met Union health ministry officials and requested them to install scanners at the international airport in Dabolim, around 25km from here, where hundreds of domestic and foreign tourists arrive everyday.

At present, screening is being done at various airports, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Cochin, Bengaluru and Hyderabad for passengers returning from China and Hong Kong.

The minister said passengers arriving in Goa by cruise ships at Mormugao Port Trust harbour should also be screened.

Rane said "around four people" who had travelled to either China or Hong Kong recently have been admitted in the isolation ward of the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) near here.

Earlier this week, the first suspected case of the coronavirus was detected in the state.

A foreigner, who had arrived in Goa from China, was kept under observation at the GMCH's isolation ward after he showed symptoms similar to the coronavirus infection.

A thermal scanner checks the body temperature of a person and shows if he/she has symptoms of viral infections.

The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes, but the virus that has killed people in China is a novel strain and not seen before.

Common symptoms of the novel coronavirus strain include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, according to the WHO.