New Delhi: Amid a coronavirus scare, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday asked airlines and airports to take specific measures such as providing protective gears like surgical masks and gloves to crew members and passengers and having multiple hand sanitising points at terminals.
The aviation regulator stated that airports and airlines must ensure that each aircraft arriving from South Korea, Japan and Italy is subjected to disinfection process before boarding begins for the next flight on the plane.
On planes operating on international routes, boarding of passengers for the next flight should begin only after thermal scanning and immigration clearance is completed of disembarking passengers, the DGCA noted. In case any passenger is suspected to be infected from novel coronavirus, the disinfection process must be carrier out on that plane, it stated.
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On Monday, India reported two fresh cases of novel coronavirus – one infected person came to Delhi on February 25 after visiting Italy and another one came to Hyderabad on February 20 from Dubai via Bengaluru.
More than 3,000 people have died of coronavirus across the world – majority of them in China. The DGCA circular stated on Tuesday,
All ground handling staff entering inbound and outbound international flights shall be provided with personnel protective equipment (PPE) and such PPE shall be disposed of in an appropriate manner after each flight.
PPE stand for protective gears like surgical masks, gloves, disposable shoe covers, it said. The regulator asked the airlines to ensure that crew members on all flights practice personal hygiene, adding that it is “advisable” that PPE are used by crew members on all flights.
Traceability of crew should be well documented in the event of crew members being exposed to a suspected novel coronavirus case, said the DGCA circular that was addressed to all airlines, airports and ground handling agencies.
Staff working in airports’ different departments – immigration, health, security, check-in counter, etc – must be provided PPE, the DGCA said.
Adequate hand sanitising facilities should be made available at multiple locations including check-in counters, terminal exit areas, at thermal screening points, etc, for the use of staff and passengers, the regulator ordered. It added,
Operators to ensure that adequate PPE are available on board all the aircraft for distribution to passengers on need or request basis for international and domestic sectors.