Airport offers cardboard beds for travelers awaiting coronavirus test results
A makeshift cardboard box hotel has been set up at Japan’s Narita International Airport for travelers from abroad who can’t find room in a government site as they await their coronavirus test results, according to reports.
The unsightly set-up in the airport’s baggage claim area is staffed by workers clad in protective gear who provide snacks and water, CNN reported.
People on local social media have criticized the arrangement, saying it could actually promote the spread of the deadly disease.
“They don’t do much testing in Japan, but many returnees from overseas are infected,” tweeted Misachasu, who also described the experience of his Vietnamese pal who spent a night in a cardboard cubicle.
“We consider this space a high risk of infection,” he wrote.
Though flights at the hub are down so sharply that it has closed one of its runways, planes are still arriving with passengers arriving from countries including the US and Italy who must undergo tests before they can go home.
The travelers may receive results as quickly as six hours, but delays mean many have to wait as long as one or two days, a Health Ministry official told Channel News Asia on condition of anonymity.
The cardboard boxes, which were developed for use in evacuation centers during disasters, contain a mattress and a quilt.
“There are facilities near the airport for people to stay, so as far as I know the beds haven’t been used yet – or if they have, it’s only been very briefly,” the official told the outlet.
Japan, which last week declared a state of emergency in major population areas, has recorded at least 7,400 cases from COVID-19, with 137 deaths, according to public broadcaster NHK.