3 from Ebola-hit Liberia Isolated at Delhi Airport, All Cleared in Mumbai

Aug. 26--DELHI/MUMBAI -- Three of the 29 passengers who landed at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport from Ebola-hit Liberia on Tuesday morning with cough and fever have been isolated for observation, officials said.

They are being tested at Airport Health Organisation Hospital, the designated hospital where people with suspected Ebola infection are to be treated in an isolated ward.

"All three have very non-specific symptoms, it is likely to be viral and they are likely to be discharged when the test results come by this evening," said a doctor at the hospital.

They reached Delhi on two different flights which landed at 7.30am and 9.10am. They carried 25 and four people respectively.

All the passengers who arrived in Delhi work for Afcons Infrastructure Limited, which has projects in the West African country.

In Mumbai, all the 84 passengers who came from Liberia have been found to be free of symptoms of the deadly disease.

Also read: Why India is an easy target for Ebola

The passengers reached Mumbai on Ethiopian Airlines' and South African Airways' flights.

Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 610 that arrived at 5:41am carried 64 passengers and South African Airways flight SA 284 which had 20 passengers arrived at 12:05am in Mumbai.

The flights were taxied to an isolated parking bay where airport health officials screened the passengers at the tarmac.

"Until morning not a single passenger was sent to the designated government hospitals," said a Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) spokesperson.

More passengers are expected in Mumbai later in the day.

According to MIAL, the Indians will arrive in flights run by Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, Jet and South African Airways.

Also read: Ebola scare? MPs call off goodwill visit to South Africa

According to a Union health ministry advisory, passengers with symptoms should be barred from entering airport terminals and sent to hospitals directly from the tarmac.

Elaborate precautionary arrangements have been put in place at the Mumbai airport to screen all those who are expected to arrive on Tuesday from and around the Ebola-hit Liberia.

MIAL added the baggage of the flights were not kept separate by the concerned airline in their custody, and that disinfection of the flight will be carried out once all passengers deboard.

Officials said the screening process delayed flights to and from African destinations such as Johannesburg and Addis Ababa, but did not affect the schedule of other international operations.

Union health secretary Lov Verma had convened a meeting of officials of all concerned departments on Monday to firm up arrangements for screening and testing passengers at Mumbai and Delhi airports.

Copyright 2014 - Hindustan Times, New Delhi

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