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Emirates: Airlines Ill Equipped To Handle Pandemic

ImageEmirates Airline’s chief medical advisor said that in the event of a global viral pandemic, airlines would not be capable of tracking infected travelers, because of flaws in passenger records. Cliff Webster said a single, global passenger tracking system is needed for airlines to trace infected travelers in an outbreak.  

Mr. Webster told delegates at the Global Healthcare Conference at UAE University that “Should H5N1 become a pandemic, contact tracing of passengers to reduce infection will be a significant problem for health authorities worldwide.”   The problem is exacerbated because about 50% of passengers give false information.  He noted that by 2020, between 60 and 65 million passengers will pass through the UAE each year, but the chances of catching an infections disease are quite small.

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