Screening protocols such as checking temperatures and monitoring symptoms among passengers flying in from countries with high rates of Covid spread are ineffective for air travellers, cites a new report.
Citing the report, CNN said that the enhanced screening programme for air passengers that was started in January had a low case detection rate.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its latest report said that between January 13 and September 13 more than 766,000 travellers were screened.
As per the CDC data, “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,” CNN reported the CDC as saying.
The reasons for the failure of this style of screening were — coronavirus has a number of nonspecific symptoms common to other infections, high number of asymptomatic cases, travellers may deny symptoms or take steps to avoid detection and passenger data was limited.
Quoting the CDC report, CNN said that travellers and their local communities would be better protected if there was “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.
According to the latest data by Johns Hopkins University, the United States has reported 10,523,260 cases of coronavirus and 242,577 deaths so far.