torsdag 19. mars 2020

Hong Kong and Tokyo airports are handling coronavirus very differently. Which one has it right?

Passing through airports in Hong Kong and Tokyo this week highlighted the differences in the approaches of the two Asian hubs in dealing with the novel coronavirus pandemic. Upon arrival at Hong Kong International Airport on Sunday, after disembarking directly onto the tarmac we were taken to a quarantine area on the lower level of the airport.

There we underwent multiple health and security checks. My temperature was taken, I filled out a detailed questionnaire indicating I had not traveled to China, Italy, South Korea, or other coronavirus hotspots. Two quarantine officers gave me a checklist of instructions for after I left the airport, including that I take my temperature twice daily and immediately report any abnormal symptoms to the Department of Health.

If I was to land in Hong Kong today, it would be even stricter. The local government announced this week that anyone arriving from a foreign country is required to self-quarantine for two weeks, and will likely be issued an electronic monitoring bracelet that will alert the authorities if they leave their home or hotel.