The specialist believes that Coronavirus tests at airports do not show the real picture and there is a high risk of infection at airports.
Anshuman Bhagat, a doctor at the UK’s National Health Service, said that mass checks of passengers for coronavirus infection at airports immediately upon arrival were generally ineffective and useless.
According to him, this is primarily due to the incubation period of the virus. “If a passenger has been in Spain for a long weekend and is tested when they arrive back home, a test is unlikely to even show if the individual had picked up COVID-19 from their local supermarket, prior to them being on holiday,” said the expert.
Moreover, none of the currently known test systems is able to give both fast and ultra-accurate results – in this regard, there is a particularly high risk of infection at airports.
“How are airports facilitating the safe return to a passenger’s home accommodation, if they aren’t to know whether they are infected or not for potentially 48 hours after their test?” said the doctor.
Bhagat clarified that in order to increase the safety of travel around the world during a pandemic, all visitors should be quarantined, but not for the usual two weeks, but for a period of four to eight days – and only then, after going through the incubation period, test on COVID-19 should be conducted.
“We talk about ‘the new normal’ in response to office working and socialising, and this too should be echoed for the travel sector,” he concludes.