Yesterday, January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China a public health emergency of international concern.
Corporación Quiport, concessionaire of the Quito airport service, is continuously providing every facility to apply the information and control protocols set in place by the Ministry of Public Health in Ecuador (MPH), following WHO guidelines. Currently, the Ministry has six information and prevention points plus 18 health professionals and is providing information in various areas and on screens at the passenger terminal of Quito International Airport. The Municipality of Quito has set up two additional information points in the terminal as well.
The epidemiological surveillance protocol in Ecuador – enforced by the Health Ministry in compliance with international health measures – includes active surveillance, early detection, isolation, case management, contact tracing and prevention of infection by 2019-nCoV.
As an additional measure, in coordination with the Municipality of Quito through Empresa Pública Metropolitana de Servicios Aeroportuarios, Quiport is implementing a plan to disinfect areas frequented by passengers in the terminal. This includes international arrivals (boarding bridges, stairs, handrails, elevators, bathrooms, baggage carousels, immigration counters, customs), international departures (security screening, transit, immigration counters). Virkom, a hospital-use broad spectrum virucidal disinfectant is used.
Sandro Ruiz, General Manager of Empresa Pública Metropolitana de Servicios Aeroportuarios says “we are ready to respond to citizens’ calls for information and are working together with the Ministry of Health and Quiport. Mariscal Sucre Airport has taken the good initiative to safeguard the wellbeing of passengers with this continuous disinfection, an action which is in addition to keeping citizens informed in this regard.”
Andrew O’Brian, President and CEO of Quiport, explains that the airport is providing all its support to the country and city to implement prevention measures in the face of this outbreak. “It is important that passengers who arrive at our airport receive all the necessary information about the disease and see the presence of the State in prevention activities. On our part, the operation to disinfect the terminal is an additional measure to safeguard the health of passengers and airport employees”.
In coordination with all operators, employees who work at Quito International Airport observe health and hygiene measures such as constantly washing hands and using disinfectant gel to prevent respiratory infections, and seeking immediate medical attention if symptoms occur.
The authorities have called on citizens to remain calm and only obtain information from official sources. There is constant communication between the airport community, led by Corporación Quiport, and the civil aviation and public health authorities.