Effectiveness of airport screening at detecting travellers infected with novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
6 February 2020
This study has simulated the effectiveness of airport screening at detecting travellers infected with novel coronavirus. The study reported that exit or entry screening at airports for initial symptoms using thermal scanners is unlikely to prevent passage of infected travellers into new countries or local spreading.
We evaluated effectiveness of thermal passenger screening for 2019-nCoV infection at airport exit and entry to inform public health decision-making. In our baseline scenario, we estimated that 46% (95% confidence interval: 36 to 58) of infected travellers would not be detected, depending on incubation period, sensitivity of exit and entry screening, and proportion of asymptomatic cases. Airport screening is unlikely to detect a sufficient proportion of 2019-nCoV infected travellers to avoid entry of infected travellers.