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Airport screening protocols failed to curb Covid-19 spread: CDC

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on November 13, 2020

Various airport screening protocols fell flat in containing the coronavirus spread for air travellers, according to a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report added that the enhanced screening program adopted by airports since January had a low case detection rate.

The CDC stated that between January 13 and September 13 over 766,000 travelers were screened.

It wrote: "Nearly 300 met the criteria for public health assessment, 35 were tested for the coronavirus, and nine tested positive. That means the program identified about one case per 85,000 travellers screened."

According to the CDC, the reasons for the unsuccessful screening protocols were -- coronavirus has a number of non-specific symptoms common to other infections, a high number of asymptomatic cases, travellers may deny symptoms or take steps to avoid detection, and passenger data was limited.

The CDC report further noted that travellers and their local communities would be better protected if there was a "more efficient" collection of contact information for international air passengers before they arrive and real-time data that could be sent to US health departments.

Meanwhile, as per the Johns Hopkins University, the US has reported 10,523,260 cases of coronavirus and 242,577 deaths so far, the worst affected country by the virus in the world.

Published on November 13, 2020

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