Tanzania: Aviation Authorities Heighten Virus Screening in Airports

Images combined from a 3D medical animation, depicting the shape of coronavirus as well as the cross-sectional view. Image shows the major elements including the Spike S protein, HE protein, viral envelope, and helical RNA.

Dar es Salaam — Additional measures agreed by aviation stakeholders in Tanzania to curb the spread of deadly coronavirus will be start be implemented tomorrow.

The move is in response to the World Health Organisation's declaration of the Corona Virus outbreak as a global health emergency, .

An emergency meeting held on Friday, coordinated by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) resolved that front liners shall all the time of handling passengers wear special safety devices (N95 masks) that covers the nose and mouth.

The meeting was held under TCAA's Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA)

TCAA director general Hamza Johari said they had agreed that cost for the personal protective equipment (PPE) should be borne by stakeholders' employers.

They had also agreed that travellers' surveillance form, which is to be filled on board the aircraft, shall be customized to fit the coronavirus case.

"Public health officials shall provide soft copy immediately today (Friday) for circulation to airlines," Mr Johari said as he read resolutions of the meeting held at the TCAA's headquarters in Dar es Salaam.

The industry's players also agreed that there should be public health announcements at the airports.

However, video screens shall be placed at points where people stops such as immigration, check-in queue, for them to be able to view. Port health services shall provide the written announcement to airport operators, said Mr Johari.

Announcement would be done by the airport operators. Mr Johari said there was a need for having negotiation with advertising agents to assist in advertisement of public health matters as part of contribution to the public.

It was agreed that every stakeholder shall submit the list of employees with availability of each staff for training on awareness by the port health.

It was also agreed that stakeholders shall always ensure sanitising hands and waste of all types be properly incinerated.

"... all major airport operators have started taking measures against the virus," said Dr Khalid Massa, Environmental Health assistant director in the health ministry.

He said every district had isolation centre for grilling the suspected cases of coronavirus.

"The targeted areas are airports, seaports and borders," noted Dr Massa.

He added that passengers with a body temperature of above 38 degrees Celsius was to be suspected and safely isolated for 14 days, which is the virus's incubation period.

It was agreed that all stakeholders at the airports should use gloves and that ambulances of agreed standard be in place.

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