The UAE’s major airports have begun taking measures to prevent the spread of a new coronavirus identified in China, which is thought to have killed at least 17 people.
Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports have begun screening passengers coming directly from China under instructions from the General Civil Aviation Authority.
A statement issued by Dubai Airports said: “…all passengers arriving on direct flights from the People’s Republic of China must receive thermal screening at the gate upon arrival and be provided with informational leaflets.
“The screening will be conducted on secured, closed gates at the airport by Dubai Health Authority and its Airport Medical Centre team. Dubai Airports will continue to provide medical teams with any and all support that may be required.”
Abu Dhabi International will also carry out screenings. It tweeted: “Abu Dhabi International Airport has started a screening process for passengers arriving from China in an effort to ensure the health and safety of all of our travelers.”
Both airports are expecting a rise in Chinese passengers this week amid Chinese lunar New Year celebrations, which began yesterday, and see millions of people travelling internationally.
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have also introduced screening at airports in anticipation of an increasing in passengers from China.
Dubai International reported a record number of Chinese passengers last year, processing 3.7 million. The airport added two new Chinese routes in 2019 and Emirates now operates around 90 weekly flights to China.