Australia will start screening passengers arriving from a Chinese city in a bid to cease the spread of a new virus, the nation’s chief medical officer said on Tuesday. However, officials warned that an epidemic could be hard to stop.
The Chinese government has confirmed that over 200 individuals have caught the coronavirus, which causes a type of pneumonia that has killed four people in Wuhan.
The virus – which is contagious- broke out in Wuhan; however, four cases have been reported in Thailand, Japan, and South Korea, ringing alarms about its spread using international air travel.
Brendan Murphy, the chief medical officer for the Australian authorities, stated biosecurity delegates would start screening passengers arriving on the three weekly flights from Wuhan to Sydney beginning Thursday.
Passengers could be given an information pamphlet and requested to show themselves if they had a fever or suspected they might have the illness.
China is the most important source of vacationers in Australia, with over 1 million individuals arriving last year.
Around 160 flights arrive in Australia from China every week, and Murphy acknowledged Chinese vacationers might visit through other locations.
Australia’s screenings come as thousands of Chinese prepare to travel domestically and overseas during the Lunar New Year vacation that begins this week.
The authorities would raise its travel advisory for Wuhan to urge Australians to rethink traveling to the city.
Regardless of the elevated danger, Murphy stated Australia wouldn’t start scanning passengers for higher body temperatures, a precaution previously used throughout the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic.