Vietnam Airlines screens boarding passengers for fever at European airports

By Doan Loan   March 11, 2020 | 12:18 am PT
Vietnam Airlines screens boarding passengers for fever at European airports
Medical staff sanitize a Vietnam Airlines aircraft at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on February 4, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
Vietnam Airlines has begun to screen all passengers at European airports leaving for Vietnam and made face masks mandatory for them.

An airline spokesperson said the body temperature screening protocol, introduced on Tuesday, is meant to detect possible Covid-19 patients amid the worsening situation across Europe.

During the flight, passengers are encouraged to remain in their seats, avoid movement and limit communication.

The airline has begun to sterilize airplanes coming to Vietnam from abroad on landing. It used to be done only for aircraft coming from China or with sick passengers.

Vietnam Airlines is the only carrier with direct flights to Europe, which has witnessed quick spread of the novel coronavirus, particularly in Italy, France, Spain and Germany.

Other preventive measures the airline has taken include restricting the use of newspapers and other items used by multiple people on its international flights, handing out face masks and sanitizers to crews and passengers when necessary and setting the temperature in aircraft at above 26 degrees Celsius.

The equipment used to serve passengers at Hanoi and HCMC international airports like jet bridges is regularly cleaned with disinfectants. On domestic flights, spots usually touched by passengers are disinfected after each trip.

The government has mandated that all passengers coming from overseas have to follow a health declaration protocol.

At airports, body temperature screening has been tightened for passengers sitting in restaurants and business lounges.

As of Tuesday, Vietnam has 19 active cases of Covid-19, including 13 on a flight from London to Hanoi on March 2. 11 of them are British are Irish while the other two are from Hanoi.

Covid-19 has so far spread to 119 countries and territories around the world, killing over 4,270.

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