Iranian, Italian Planes Land in Beirut amid Coronavirus Fears
Another plane coming from Iran landed Monday at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport despite the outbreak of coronavirus in the Islamic Republic prompting neighboring countries to close their borders.
The National News Agency said that precautions were put in place for the evacuation mission and that passengers and crew were subject to examination to manage coronavirus transmission risk.
MTV station's reporter at the airport said another plane will arrive in Beirut in the afternoon. He added that planes coming from infected countries will land on distant runways and passengers will be allowed to leave the airport through special gates dedicated for that purpose.
Noting precautionary measures taken at the terminal, MTV said two equipped security men will board the Iranian plane to check the passengers and passports.
MTV initially reported that passengers who show no signs of illness would be allowed to leave on a bus dedicated for travelers coming from infected countries. The TV network later reported that "all passengers of the Iranian plane left the airport from its main gate, wearing masks and gloves."
A man claiming to be one of the passengers, Hassan Shahien, meanwhile announced on Facebook that the passengers left on a bus belonging to the pilgrimage agency and not "special buses."
"They took our names and phone numbers and checked if we had fever. They asked us whether anyone was feeling any symptoms and allowed us to leave," he added.
Later in the day, an Italian plane landed at the airport and a specialized team from the Health Ministry carried out the necessary medical check-ups for those on board.
"None of the Italian plane passengers was quarantined after no one showed any coronavirus symptoms," MTV said.