Australian government preparing to screen overseas passengers for coronavirus

  • January 22, 2020

Border Force officials will now monitor flights between Australia and China to prevent the people from coronavirus. The step is taken by health authorities as a response to the outbreak of coronavirus in China.

The virus, which causes pneumonia, began in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has since been detected across China and in Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

A Brisbane man was also tested following suspicion that he was affected by the coronavirus after returning from China with a respiratory illness. The man was held in isolation inside his home while he awaited his test results.

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer tried to assure that there was no cause for alarm, but officials would keep an eye on passengers. The screening would also include those who are on direct flights from Wuhan to Sydney.

Since thousands of Chinese are travelling abroad for the Lunar New Year week-long holiday, the step was quite necessary as a precaution procedure, said Australian authorities. On Tuesday, it was confirmed that human-to-human transmission of the virus had taken place.

In one of the first public briefings since the beginning of the outbreak, National Health Commission vice-minister Li Bin said there was evidence that the disease was “mainly transmitted through the respiratory tract”.

But China has still not been able to confirm the exact source of the virus.