Staff at terminal 2 of the city airport was on their toes, as nearly 80 passengers evacuated from Liberia and Nigeria for suspected ebola cases, landed through out the day under strict monitoring by doctors and paramedical staff. However, none of the passengers were detected positive for Eloba, the airport and civic authorities reveal.
According to officials in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MHFW), these passengers were part of 112 Indian and 4 Nepali nationals who worked for M/s Afcons Infrastructure Ltd in Ebola-affected African countries. At least 54 of these are natives of Maharashtra. Health officials involved with the development of the case said that these passengers have also been screened at the time of exit from Liberia and none of the evacuees had any symptoms prior to travel.
Mumbai airport sources said that as per the guidelines issued by the MHFW, the high risk category passengers with the symptoms, are isolated at the airport. Also, those from the medium risk category (those with history of contact with an Ebola case) are prioritised for active surveillance and the ones in the low risk category (without symptoms and without any contact history) are informed of helpline numbers, in case they develop symptoms subsequently. The state government officials concerned have been instructed to keep a tab on such passengers through follow-ups.
Airport insiders said that the arriving aircraft with Ebola-suspected passengers was first taken to a remote bay. From there, they were transferred to a separate area of the terminal, where they were screened and tested for any symptoms. The plane was disinfected after the passengers left.