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THAI sets up ad hoc centre for virus-control measures

In a race for passenger confidence amid the spread of novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV, Thai Airways International (THAI) and THAI Smile Airways have set up a crisis management centre to keep the situation under control.

The centre has issued guidelines and preventive measures, covering both internal and external operations.

It ensures strict adherence to the directives in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, follows up on the measures’ implementation and prepares regular operational reports to the management, according to THAI president Sumeth Damrongchaitham.

THAI’s main concerns lie in the areas of passenger services and public hygiene as well as maintaining high standards of inflight cleanliness. With regard to ground measures, the airline screens all passengers upon arrival and departure.

The company has issued the following measures:

1. Passenger screening:
All passengers will be screened at service areas. Anyone showing symptoms of the coronavirus will be guided to the physicians on duty at the airport for a thorough check-up. If proved positive of infection, the passenger will be stopped from boarding a flight or prevented from entering the country.

2. Inflight service:
Cabin crew must wear face masks and gloves on flights to and from high-risk areas.
Passengers are prohibited from touching inflight catering equipment.
Lavatories must be cleaned more frequently during flights.
Provide face masks to passengers exhibiting related symptoms.
Passengers are to be observed.
Inform the international infectious disease control of any passenger showing related symptoms prior to arrival.

3. Aircraft preparation and disinfection:
Spray Calla 1452 to disinfect the passenger cabin and cockpit of all aircraft returning from the People’s Republic of China and high-risk destinations.
The plane is to undergo interior disinfection for a total of 45 minutes beginning from the moment the last cabin crew member disembarks the aircraft. The aircraft must be sprayed with disinfectant solution for at least 15 minutes, then closed for an incubation period of 30 minutes.
Use HEPA filter for air filtration.

4. Aircraft interior cleaning and employee hygiene:
Deep cleaning 36 touch points in five areas: passenger seat pocket, aircraft interior cabin, passenger seats, galley and toilets.
Employees must strictly adhere to wearing face masks and gloves, must wash hands thoroughly with soap or antibacterial hand gel before starting work.
Garbage bags must be tightly secured before removal from the aircraft and be properly disposed.

5. Employee measures:
Educate employees on the disease’s symptoms and ways to handle the situation.
Provide employees with personal protective equipment (PPE) and other necessary items.
Should the physician on duty deem necessary, medical check-up will be conducted on employees displaying related symptoms. If proved positive of infection, they will be put on sick leave.

6. Cargo and commercial mail transportation:
All shipments are to be inspected according to standards.
Avoid transporting high-risk shipments.
Ensure cargo warehouse remains hygienic and disease-free.

7. Meal preparation:
Purchase raw materials with GAP certification
Meal production must be based on HACCP, GMP, and HALAL safety standards
All meal preparation utensils and service-related tools and equipment must be cleaned and pasteurised
Linens used in inflight service must be disinfected.

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