The Japanese airport of Narita has prepared an improvised hotel of cardboard beds and quilts in its baggage reclaim area for passengers from abroad who may have to stay there waiting for the test results for the new coronavirus.
Although the flights to Narita are so abrupt that the airport has closed one of its runways, the planes are still landing with passengers arriving from countries including the United States and Italy who need to be tested for the virus before they can go back home.
The results can come in six hours, but the delays now mean that many take up to a day or two, an official from the Ministry of Health said, refusing to give his name.
With passengers banned from public transportation, those who have no one to pick them up have to wait – and cardboard beds have been set up in case the nearby facilities currently used to accommodate passengers are full, he added.
Developed to be used in evacuation centers during disasters and at any other time when temporary beds are needed, the beds, made of resistant cardboard, contain a mattress and a quilt.
“There are facilities near the airport where people can stay, so as far as I know the beds have not been used yet – or, if they are, it has only been very briefly,” said the official.
Last week Japan declared a state of emergency in major population centers to combat the spread of coronavirus. The number of cases in the country is at least 7,400, with 137 deaths, NHK public broadcaster said.
(This story was published by a wire agency feed with no changes to the text.)
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