BOSTON (CBS) – The Hainan Airlines flight from Shanghai touched down at Logan Airport about 1:30 p.m. with passengers describing a tense atmosphere back home. “Everybody is being cautious, wearing masks. The government every day is telling people to stay at home,” said passenger Fan Wu.
“I stayed indoors for almost my whole vacation. To be honest I’m a little nervous about the virus,” said passenger Lucas Yao.
One passenger described his native Shanghai as a “dead city”, and returned to school in Boston a few days early out of fear of cancelled flights. “Nobody is going out, there’s no one on the streets. Everybody is wearing masks, it’s kind of scary,” said Johnny Gao.
While there are no reported cases of the coronavirus in Massachusetts, Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, Chief of the Division of Infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, describes a state of alertness, and being ready for any patients with symptoms and where to place them. “It’s what we call a negative pressure room where air is sucked in instead of being blown out so that infectious particles stay in the room and get filtered out through air filters,” Dr. Kuritzkes said.
Logan is one airport that will eventually screen passengers for the virus, but many arriving Thursday said they were asked only simple questions. “They asked me if I went to Wuhan and I said no. In Shanghai they tested my thermal stats to see if I have a fever,” said Johnny Gao.
Masks were being worn by airport workers as well as passengers, and doctors say while preventative they’re not foolproof. “It certainly helps people from acquiring infection if there’s coughing and sneezing in their vicinity, but it’s not the only way of preventing infection and shouldn’t be relied on by itself,” said Dr. Kuritzkes.