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Feb 10, 2020

Group of Chinese Nationals Screened, Cleared at P.G.I.A.

So on Saturday, a News Five team camped outside the arrival section of the Philip Goldson International Airport after reports surfaced that a group of travellers from China arrived onboard an international flight.  During the time that our team was there, several passengers were seen wearing masks over their faces and others applying hand sanitizers. The Ministry of Health confirmed that screening was taking place on a group of twelve Chinese nationals.  A team of doctors and public health officials were deployed to the airport and certified that persons disembarking the plane had no respiratory condition that would seem to be related to the flu. The group was then processed and allowed to enter the country. News Five was able to get a comment from Epidemiologist Doctor Manzanero as the medical team exited the P.G.I.A.


Russell Manzanero

Dr. Russell Manzanero, Epidemiologist, Ministry of Health

“The travel screening is what is being done at this point in regards to influenza surveillance; I guess particular interest in the novel coronavirus situation. So what we will be doing measures at port of entry and especially here at the international airport and at border manager so that they can get a complete understanding of where these individuals are coming from. I guess we know that they are travelling everywhere so it is not only through the U.S. So we really need to heighten our surveillance and step up our game to see how we can screen the individuals who are coming in. They may not necessarily be Chinese nationals, but any traveller, who is coming from that area. So we are particularly interested in seeing where they are coming from and getting that information. The purpose of course is to get a concern and see where we can follow up these individuals. Fortunately the ones that we have been screening are all asymptomatic; nobody is coming in sick at the moment. The only cases that we did have concern and we had to go do some screening are those in the north; but we do know who are those persons, we jumped on it samples were taken and as we had mentioned one was negative and the other was the seasonal flu. So for now, you see a lot of travellers at the moment and what we are doing is look at that kind of information. So we are screening everybody including crew members, everybody that’s coming off the plane just to ensure that the travel history that we need from them. And of course if they have the travel history, it’s to pull them aside and see okay let me do a little more in-depth interview. And we have nurses and staff here who are actually doing the physical screening like temperature checks and all of that. So that is in place right now.”

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