How to avoid infection with the Coronavirus in airplanes and airports

Find out the most important recommendations of the aviation experts to avoid infection with the Coronavirus on board of planes and in the airports, the full details on Imtilak.com.

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2020-06-11 Last update 2020-07-10

How to avoid infection with the Coronavirus in airplanes and airports

The must-be-followed measures in airports and airplanes to avoid Coronavirus infection

As life gradually returns to normal after the Coronavirus, and after an official flight schedule at the airports has been organized, it was necessary to set a group of measures that must be followed in airports and on board of airplanes to avoid the Coronavirus infection.

The foreign flights in Turkey have been resumed on the 11th of June 2020, thus, the measures taken in the airports and airplanes are of great importance.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency; Turkish experts focused on the need to take Coronavirus preventive measures which are necessary for the travelers, these measures include moving away from direct contact between travelers and not engaging in long conversations between them, in an attempt to mitigate the Coronavirus infection transmission.

Turkish experts stress on the big role of the HEPA filters in the airplane, which allows the fresh air to circulate in it and keeps the airplane clean from all types of infections and epidemics. 

Chairman of the Aviation Medicine Association, Professor Muzaffer Cetinguc said: "Airlines and those who manage the airplanes are responsible for the cleanliness of airplane and seats during the successive flights".

Muzaffer Cetinguc stresses the importance of these precautions in this critical period. "More care has been given to the issue of disinfection, filtering cabin air, storing water and food, cleaning the toilet, and collecting waste," he said.

"There must be consistency between the environmental monitoring system related to the cleanliness of airplane and the regulating instructions of the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). " he continued

He also said: "currently, purification studies inside aircraft are being carried out according to the health laws of the World Health Organization and the standards of the International Standards Organization (ISO) ".

In his talk, Cetinguc focused on "the need to take into account the environmental conditions of toxic gases, microbial particles, allergens, and insects during the flights, also, good attention must be paid to the diseases that can be transmitted by passengers and crew".

Reminding of infection methods to avoid them, Cetinguc said: "It is known that the main methods of disease transmission are direct contact with patients, the use of the same tools by several people, inhaling microbial particles in the air, insect bites, the flies that transmit disease, and the food and drinks that contain the microbes".

He pointed out the importance of using HEPA filters in the airplanes which play a major role in the air cleaning process for passengers by filtering dust, chemical, and microbial particles in the cabin air by 95 percent and above.

Coronavirus at airports

What places onboard airplanes are the most vulnerable to the contamination?

Cetinguc refers to the prohibition of some cases that cause a rapid transmission of the virus in a flight, he says: "Travelers who have open wounds or who transmit the infection through breathing, coughing, and sneezing are referred to a medical examination, then they might be prohibited to have a flight when".

The Turkish professor sees that it is necessary to carry out the airplane purifying process from the inside through the following:

  • Wiping the carpets, seat fabrics, trays, toilets, and sinks in the airplane using disinfectants.
  • Cleaning the cabin air and materials inside the airplane with aerosol sprays, UV, and steam sprays

In addition, he focused on keeping the airports clean especially from rats and insects.

He also stressed that the airplanes that work continuously must be cleaned for 60 to 90 minutes during every two flights, and they must undergo comprehensive cleaning at periods between 1 to 3 months.

He called as well for ensuring the cleanliness of pillows distributed inside rubber packages on airplanes, and the same thing for the blankets, earphones, and cups which can be used one time.

According to the Turkish professor Cetinguc: "One of the places that are the most vulnerable to contamination on board of aircraft are: toilet door handles, seat and headrest parts in seats, foldable rear trays, seat belts, and carpets.."

Corona preventive measures

How to avoid infection with the Coronavirus in airplanes and airports

Cetinguc stresses the significant role of the competent authorities in detecting Coronavirus infections through testing the suspected carriers of this disease in airports and border crossings. 

Then he recommended some procedures to maintain the health and safety of passengers such as:

  1. Following the authority's strict rules in airports and airplanes.
  2. Measuring temperature.
  3. Wearing the mask.
  4. Keeping social distancing.
  5. Using gloves and protective masks when necessary.
  6. Not carrying anything on board of airplanes other than handbags.
  7. Avoid speaking loudly, coughing, and sneezing on the airplane as much as possible.
  8. pointing the airways by the passengers' to their faces, to keep the bacteria droplets in the breathing air away.

After these recommendations, Cetinguc calls the passengers to understand some of the things that have imposed themselves on the current situation, and that there are new practices and rules in the field of aviation due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus which affected the whole world. Among the most important of these things:

  • The increase in airline ticket prices
  • No food on domestic flights, only water is distributing.
  • Not magazine or newspaper distribution during flights.
  • The risk of infection increases with how close a person sits next to an infected patient, and the extent of the relationship with others.

In a related context, the airplane engineer and aviation specialist Mehmet Yilmaz stated that a great effort has been made to return to normal in the aviation sector, this was evident in reports of the work of the various authorities, especially the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

"Airlines are constantly disinfecting airplanes, and 99.97% of all microbes are neutralized thanks to the HEPA filters, to eliminate any concerns the passengers may have," Yilmaz added, stressing at the same time that the probability Coronavirus infection on board of airplane is much lower than any other closed environment.

How to protect yourself from coronavirus in the airplane?

Yilmaz says that many pieces of research from Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Boeing state that the frequent interaction between passengers and leaving their seats are among the things that violate the hygiene rules on board of airplanes.

"One of the research results was that people sitting in seats next to a window and the people who try not to leave their seats during the flight; were at less risk of getting an infection," he says.

In an attempt to reduce the number of infections at airports, Yilmaz provides some guidance for airline passengers like:

  • Keeping hands away from eyes, face, and the surfaces that all passengers can touch.
  • Not to touch anything on the airplane.
  • Not to face anyone on board of airplanes, especially the passengers next to you.
  • Keeping the hands disinfected as much as possible.
  • Not to remove the mask during the flight.
  • Not to close the ventilation openings on top of the head.
  • Make sure to rinse your mouth at certain times using the special fluids to help kill germs and keep the throat wet, especially during long flights.
  • Taking the known vitamins a few days before the trip to strengthen the immune system.
  • Not using pillows and blankets distributed by the flight crew.

 

How to protect yourself from Coronavirus in the airplane?

Edited by: Imtilak Real Estate©

SourceAnadolu Agency

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