News that an arriving foreigner had been quarantined Monday spread quickly, and some travelers and greeters at Tokyo’s Haneda airport were on edge. However, the place was running smoothly on Tuesday morning.
“I did hear that Ebola is not transmitted in the air, but still, I was scared until I found the man had tested negative,” said a 54-year-old woman from Yokohama traveling with three friends to South Korea.
Some remained on edge. Sumiko Ito, 60, who was waiting to greet her daughter and grandchildren from a flight, was wearing a surgical mask. She said she had decided to take the precaution after hearing that the Canadian journalist had been tested for Ebola.
“It’s good that they tested someone with a slight fever,” she said. “But I hope that people who have traveled to countries affected by Ebola will either keep away from others, stay on for a while there, or . . . report to quarantine voluntarily.”
Meanwhile, 80-year-old Kotaro Takahashi, who owns a can manufacturing business in Thailand, said that “it’s only a matter of time before the virus arrives in Japan.”
There should be tighter screening and quarantine of travelers at airports, he said.
Passengers arriving at Haneda from four countries where an Ebola outbreak has been declared are being guided to screening checkpoints.
Staffers holding a list of affected countries call out as passengers arrive, telling them to report any health concerns. All passengers are being scanned with temperature-sensing cameras.
Yuhei Inoda, 36, an office worker from Iga, Mie Prefecture, who was embarking on a business trip to San Francisco, said he was unsure what exactly to do to keep away from the virus.
“Health care in Japan is good, so even if the Ebola virus arrives in Japan I don’t think it will spread,” said Futoshi Tagori, 34, of Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, on his way to Bali, Indonesia.