South Asian countries conducting health screenings for passengers from China as of Jan. 29. Immigration delays possible.

Severity: Informational Alert

  • Incident: Increased health Screenings
  • Location(s): South Asia (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Longer immigration wait times; possible quarantine measures

Summary
Several countries in South Asia have implemented enhanced health screenings for passengers from China. The precaution follows an increase in reported cases of 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan and other areas in China, along with cases reported in several other Asian countries. Screening measures vary somewhat across the region.

As of Jan. 29, authorities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka have implemented mandatory health screenings at international airports for passengers arriving from China. Quarantine measures for up to two weeks may be imposed if infection is suspected. Additionally, Sri Lanka has suspended its visa on arrival system for Chinese travelers. Authorities in India have implemented health screenings along border crossing points with Nepal as a precaution. Increased health screenings are likely to result in increased wait times at international airports and some land border crossings.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings, especially if traveling from China. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with 2019 novel coronavirus, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.