Congo Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s)
The present Congo Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) aim to establish a WFP Aviation/UNHAS (United Nation Humanitarian Air Service) procedures to be followed when operating in areas affected by the current outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Due to the volatile situation and the pace of the changes regarding the procedures that apply to contain the spread of the disease, this document is subject to changes and it will be revised every fifteen days.
Democratic Republic of Congo registered its first positive coronavirus case which was declared by the Congolese Ministry of Public Health on 10th March 2020 at Kinshasa, the capital city of DRC.
It was a person who had recently returned to the country from Europe. One week later by 17th March, four more cases were confirmed, and the number continued raising up over the pass of the following weeks.
- Fever (37.3 C or higher) and/or one of the following symptoms:
- Persistent dry cough
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain, diarrhoea and vomiting
- Appears obviously unwell
Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
The World Health Organization states that human begins spread the virus through droplets transmission. is from a sick person transmit the virus to healthy person through respiratory droplets when the sick person coughs or talks close to another person.
General Guidance and Directives
For all UNHAS staff and Air Operators while in DRC and in countries with confirmed cases:
- Travel only in private transport when moving between the airport/office and home/accommodations.
- Reduce time in public areas while moving between the aircraft/office and the private transport.
- Practice social distance (maintain approximately 1 meter if possible) whenever out in public and among passengers, avoid hand shaking (no touching)
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick whenever possible.
- Do not eat foods from unknown sources.
- Wash your hands with disinfects like soap for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth because hands may transfer the virus to your body through these openings.
- Cover your mouth and nose with bent elbow or tissue when sneezing or coughing, and dispose of the tissue.
- Institution operators should follow the guidance provided by your employer’s occupational health program.
- Wear face masks because they can limit transmission of the virus to others if you are sick
- Contact UNHAS management or admin if you were exposed to individuals with suspected COVID-19 or any support or further guidance is required.
- UNHAS staff to brief their family members on the preventive measures.
Personal Protective Equipment
The following Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shall be available for staff
- Medical masks
- Face shield or eyes googles
- Gloves; 4. Gowns
- Medical hair cover
- Non-contact infrared thermometers
- Disinfectant gels (alcohol-based hand sanitizers over 60%)
- Biohazard bags.
Congo Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) Operations
The AFO will monitor the spread of COVID-19 in country and undertake a risk assessment before each flight.
If an operation to a COVID-19 affected area is required, additional precautionary measures such as reduced passenger seating configuration that ensures a minimum safety distance of one meter between passengers will apply.
Air Operator staff must inform passengers on the potential risk of COVID-19 and advise on preventive hygiene measures.
Screening temperature machines must be put in place at all locations for all staff, crew and passengers before entering any UN Air Terminals, UNHAS compound and/or aircraft.
All UNHAS staff shall wear PPE comprising of a mask and gloves, and frequently use hand disinfectants.
Security and airport staff must ensure that all persons while in terminal keep a social distance of at least 1 meter at all times
Screening temperature machines must be put in place at all locations for all staff, crew and passengers before entering any UN Air Terminals, UNHAS compound and/or aircraft.
- Keep distance minimum 1 meter from any other person.
- Check for entry, i.e. passenger and staff.
- Inform the passenger of screening reason
- Check passenger for any visible COVID-19 symptoms. If present, follow separation actions
- Make sure all passengers are wearing a mask and gloves. The mask and gloves should be provided by the passenger’s agency or by themselves. Only if it’s strictly justified, UNHAS staff will provide it for those who don’t bring their own. Correct wearing of mask is colour side out, metal bridge at the top to seal the nose area. The mask should cover both the nose and the mouth.
- Ask the passenger whether he/she feels sick and have any of the symptoms, including fever, coughing, sour throat, breathing, or been feeling unwell in the past 24 hours.
- When checking the temperature keep a distance of 3-5 cm in front of forehead.
- If the temperature reading is high (over 37.3° C) and the passenger has no other COVID-19 symptoms, ask the passenger to move to a shaded area and wait. Retake their temperature again after 5 minutes for an accurate reading. Clear the passenger if there are no symptoms and temperature below 37.3° Celsius. If temperature is still 37.3 or above, separate the passenger as per below point 2.2.2.
- If the COVID-19 symptoms are displayed by the passenger:
- Inform them to move to the isolation area in case there is one available or if not, to a separated area as far as possible from the rest of the passengers.
- Inform your supervisor, who will contact the correspondent Medical Service depending on each case (UNJMS/WHO/Ministry of health/UN Doctor) to contact the passenger.
- Direct passenger to disinfect hands before entering.
Congo Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) on Separation (isolation) “
Actions to be undertaken when dealing with sick passenger:
- Note the passenger details (name/organisation).
- Tell the passenger that they are to be separated/ isolated due to the symptoms.
- Provide a face mask if not wearing one and if the passenger can tolerate it, ask the passenger to cover their mouth and nose with tissues when coughing or sneezing and to stay separated from others.
- Limit contact between the sick passenger and other passengers and direct to predesignated isolation area.
- If the passenger refuses to be separated/isolated, advise them that they are displaying coronavirus symptoms and they should seek further medical assistance.
- Get in touch with UNHAS AVSEC Officer and/or the ATO in charge and inform passenger’s name, agency and situation.
- Isolation Areas: each terminal shall have a separate designated isolation area for suspected infected passengers. The AFO shall identify the focal points from UNHAS customer service and Medical Service available on call to provide passengers with further guidance. Information materials and PPE shall be available.
Congo Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) during Screening Process at check-in area
Operational steps to be performed:
- Clean and disinfect the check-in areas before using them.
- Place posters with information about the COVID-19 preventive measures in the visible part of the passenger’s check-in area.
- Place soap and running gel at the check-in counters and ask passengers to disinfect their hands.
- Ensure only disinfected boarding passes are used, and only use once between disinfection.
- Keep social distance (1 meter) from any passenger and between them.
- Encourage passengers to use the toilets at the terminal before boarding since the use of the toilets on board is restricted to emergency situations to avoid the contamination.
- Assess passenger’s physical condition i.e. sneezing, coughing, having difficulty in breathing or any other known symptoms.
- The check-in counter staff interacting with passengers and their belongings such as luggage, electronics etc., shall use disposable gloves.
- Check-in and boarding staff to wear protective gloves when handling passenger documents.
- Passengers shall hand their boarding pass to the UNHAS staff member and then have their hands sanitized or washed prior to boarding the aircraft.
- Ensure gloves are always worn when loading and unloading baggage, cargo and pouches.
Using of screening items
- The individual screening should in every case clean their hands before applying the mask and after moving it. A mask can be utilized just a single time yet the screener can keep a similar mask on until it gets moist inside.
- Hands should be washed before putting on gloves and after removing them. Damaged, torn and too moist gloves should be changed any time they are. Follow these steps to remove gloves:
- Handle the outside of one glove at the wrist. Try not to contact your exposed skin.
- peel the glove away from your body, pulling it back to front.
- Hold the glove you just removed in your gloved hand.
- Strip off the second glove by putting your fingers inside the glove at the head of your wrist.
- Turn the second glove back to front while pulling it away from your body, leaving the first glove inside the second.
- Discard the gloves safely and don’t re use them
- Wash your hands immediately after removing gloves.
- Non-contact Infrared thermometer: the screener will be asked to take temperatures from anybody entering the premises. In general, the non-contact infrared thermometers are held between 3 to 15 cm away from the traveler getting screened and commonly measure temperature on the brow. Request that the traveler evacuate any hair to uncover base skin for right perusing. For the thermometers we are at present utilizing, is suggest taking the perusing between 3-5 cm from the traveler’s skin. Note: Infrared thermometers take the temperature of the surface (skin). On the off chance that the individual has been wearing a cap or has been in direct daylight or has been having physical effort (running, conveying substantial sacks, and so forth.), the temperature perusing might be high. On the off chance that the temperature perusing is high (over 37.3 C) and the individual has no other COVID-19 side effects, request that the individual move to a concealed territory and pause. Re-take their temperature again following five minutes for an exact perusing.
Congo Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s)on Boarding
- Distance between travelers should guarantee in the boarding procedure. If a ride on a transport is required to move from the terminal to the transports, the same number of excursions varying will be done to guarantee that travelers are seat 1-meter separated from one another inside the transport
- Once at the tarmac, passenger shall follow below process:
- Identify Bags
- Take water and snacks if provided
- Hand over the boarding pass
- Sanitize their hands with the disinfectants
Congo Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s)upon Loaders and helpers
The rationalized use and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when handling cargo from and to countries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak includes following these recommendations:
- Wearing a mask of any type is not recommended when handling cargo from an affected country.
- Gloves are not required unless they are used for protection against mechanical hazards, such as when manipulating rough surfaces.
- Importantly, the use of gloves does not replace the need for appropriate hand hygiene, which should be performed frequently, as described above.
- When disinfecting supplies or pallets, no additional PPE is required beyond what is routinely recommended.
Congo Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) In Flight
Actions to be performed by crew:
- Cabin crew shall use protective equipment (single-use gloves and mask) and be trained by the operators on the correct used of the PPE and on how to use an infra-red thermometer which must be available on board the aircraft.
- Non-essential documents should be removed from all seat-back pockets except safety brief and other documents required for the safety of flights.
- Enough potable water should be on board the aircraft.
- Gloves, face masks and additional sick bags shall be available on board in case is requested by the passengers.
- Disinfectant gel (alcohol-based hand sanitizers over 60%) should be available for the crew and passengers.
- Passengers shall be instructed on the proper use of alcohol hand wash gel and face mask and advised to use the sick bags if needed.
- Used sick bags shall be placed in a biohazard bag on board the aircraft. Any contaminated material should be disposed into biohazard bags
- Follow airport/host country-specific procedures at destination for the handling of the materials upon arrival.
- Ensure all passengers are spread out throughout the aircraft and advise passengers that they should not change designated seat without cabin crew authorization, and they cannot sit together.
- Only one flight engineer or technical crew member should be allowed to disembark the aircraft for an external inspection, refueling, etc., during technical stops. In such cases, direct contact with the ground crew of an airport situated in a high-risk area, should also be avoided.
- To the greatest extent possible, no ground personnel should be allowed to embark the aircraft except for remediation of technical problems or other ground staff whose presence on board is essential for performing their tasks. When such personnel are on board, they should be required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
The following actions shall apply if flight crew members identify a COVID-19 suspected case in-flight:
AFO Flight Following and Air Traffic Services in the Host Country shall be informed, providing the following information:
- UN call-sign
- Departure aerodrome/ take-off location
- Destination aerodrome/ landing location
- Estimated time of arrival
- Number of passengers onboard
- Number of suspected case(s) onboard
- Nature of the public health risk or symptoms, if known.
- UNHAS upon receipt of information from a pilot regarding suspected case(s) of communicable disease or other public health risk on board the aircraft, shall forward a message as soon as possible to the UNJMS and to the CAA.
- Crew will ensure that the suspected passenger is wearing a surgical mask all the time (as soon as it becomes damp provide a replacement mask) and provide tissues and an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if needed. Dispose used masks safely in a biohazard bag or equivalent. Practice proper hand hygiene immediately after handling the mask.
- If the passenger showing symptoms refuses to wear the mask, ask them for the reason of refusal, take the name of passenger and the organization and contact UNHAS AVSEC Safety Officer or safety Focal Point after the flight.
- Define and delimit a quarantine area, leaving if possible, 2 rows of seats cleared in each direction around the passenger. Consider, if feasible, the use of the last three rows on the right-hand side as quarantine area.
- Taking into consideration all previous factors and the air circulation system of the aircraft, where possible, the suspected passenger should be seated in the last right window seat.
- Where the suspected passenger is traveling accompanied, the companion should be also included in the area confined to the designated quarantine area even if he/she does not exhibit any symptoms.
- Leave a space of two meters (6 feet) between the ill passenger and all others on board (if this is not possible, provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to anyone within the vicinity in case they don’t have already).
- Cabin crew shall ask the passenger to complete the passenger locator card forms (Annex 3) to identify passengers’ seat along with information regarding their immediate travel plans and contact details.
- Cabin crew shall recommend passengers to self-report if feeling ill. General pre-boarding and pre-disembarking information to the passengers shall be provided.
If any crew member shows symptoms such as fever, persistent cough, difficulties breathing or other flu-like symptoms, and has an epidemiological context (such as having been in recent contact with confirmed positive cases), he/she should be:
- Quarantined on board, following the same principles described previously for the suspected passenger.
- Transferred in accordance with instructions of the local public health authorities after the flight has landed and all passengers and crew members have been disembarked.
- Be required to contact the local public health authorities as soon as practicable and follow their instructions including being tested for COVID-19 as soon as practicable
- Put in quarantine or self-isolation in accordance with instructions of the local public health authority, pending the result of the test.
Congo Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) After Flight
- Upon arrival, airport authorities may take body temperature readings.
- In case an affected passenger was found on board:
- On arrival, the Medical Unit serving the destination/departure location and/or designated medical officials shall escort the passenger directly to the designated health care facility before any other passenger or crew disembark.
- The crew member designated to provide on board services for the symptomatic passenger and other crew members which may have been in direct contact with the suspected passenger should be provided transportation to facilities where they can clean and disinfect before being in contact with other people. Alternatively, as a last resort, after carefully disposing of the used PPE and washing and disinfecting their hands, the respective cabin crew members might be isolated on board, in a quarantine area, to return to base or a layover destination.
- Once the affected passenger has been assisted from the designated medical officials, an announcement to reassure other passengers shall be made and information for preventive public health measures shared if a diagnosis of COVID-19 is confirmed by the Medical Unit.
- All vehicles used for transporting UNHAS passengers and staff shall be cleaned and disinfected on daily basis, and between each transportation of passengers when possible.
- Aircraft disinfection to be completed by the operator as per below point 3.4
- Disinfection of the check-in area, counters and waiting room after daily departures have been completed. Passenger’s areas to be closed and locked to avoid contamination of area by other people.
- Disinfection equipment and supplies may include:
- Garbage bags and masking tape
- Disposable gloves o Eye protection if available
- Paper towel and/or absorbent material
- Sanitizing agents, such as bleach tablets or 5% domestic liquid bleach.
Congo Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s)for Management of crew and staff exposure after completed flight
Where possible, after return to home base, but no later than 48 hours from the first contact with the suspected passenger, the respective crew member(s) or staff should be asked to take appropriate self-isolation measures pending the result of the passenger’s test.
If the test is positive, they should be placed in quarantine for 14 days from the last contact with the confirmed positive passenger, unless otherwise specified by the local public health authorities.
If the test is negative, they may resume flying or work duties. In the case the local public health authorities inform an aircraft operator that a flight of the respective operator carried a passenger who was confirmed positive, the operator should notify the crew members flying the flight segment concerned and inform them that they are placed in quarantine for duration of 14 days from the end of the respective flight.
This should apply for the flights taking place within 5 days before the collection of the test sample for asymptomatic persons or within 3 days prior to the onset of symptoms for the symptomatic passengers unless otherwise specified by the local public health authorities. For flights taking place outside this interval the risk of the passenger being contagious during the flight is considered low.
The incubation period for the COVID-19 has been found to be between 2 and 14 days, with the vast majority of cases having an incubation period of 5-6 days. In this context, it is considered that in the first 2 days after exposure a person is not contagious even if they were contaminated and the later testing will show a positive result.
Congo Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for Transportation of specimen
UNHAS will follow the WHO international procedure for transporting samples that are potentially contaminating which is as follows:
- Medical samples shall be packed in 3 layers of packaging labelled UN 3373 accordingly, to avoid any spills and protect the people handling the package.
- If there is no information of the package the pilots shall not accept on board.
- The packaging shall be provided with a transport document with the names and addresses of the patients.
- Staff handling the package shall use gloves.
- Handling staff shall ensure the packaging is properly sealed from the outside and decontaminate of all exterior compartments of the triple pack with a 0.5% chlorine solution or bleach before boarding the aircraft.
- Handling staff shall load the package in a secure place in the aircraft to avoid from tilting.
Congo Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) upon Medical Evacuations
This chapter covers provision on non-critical MEDEVACS in order to assist the contracted Air Operators to transfer patients with infectious diseases/symptoms.
Due to the high risk of contagion, a patient with suspected or confirmed Coronavirus is not allowed to travel on a scheduled flight.
A person with symptoms and a doctor’s clearance to fly can be transported on an UNHAS special flight with special measures in place to ensure person will not expose others and can be transported safely as per medical advice. Any medical transport needs to be cleared by UNHAS management.
In addition to the established MEDEVAC Procedures, UNHAS will coordinate any COVID-19 potential case through authorization with Host Country health facilities and UN Mission Medical Unit. The UN physicians (where present) or Medical Unit Personnel where no UN physicians are present, shall act as the COVID-19 MEDEVAC COORDINATOR.
Upon request, UNHAS DRC may conduct on a case by case basis a MEDEVACs of COVID-19 confirmed patient in accordance with country-specific public health regulations and the operator’s procedures.
Approval for all medical evacuations of COVID-19 symptomatic passengers shall be undertaken by requesting agency through WHO and authorization with the Host Country. Agency requesting for air transport of COVID-19 symptomatic passengers shall inform respective authorities and obtain required authorizations.
It must be noted that UNHAS aircraft are not equipped with medical equipment. Therefore, MEDEVAC request shall be accompanied with the fit-to-fly form/statement from the authorized medical facility/doctor. Critically ill passengers shall be evacuated on special fully equipped MEDEVAC flights.
To effectively manage a patient transfer on UNHAS aircraft, and to minimize the adverse effect of such events on air operations, the AFO shall take action according to the Host Country public health surveillance and response procedures, the airport emergency plan regarding public health events and international requirements, addressing the following issues among others:
- Coordinate with the airport operator/airport authority to provide a specific parking area for the aircraft.
- Coordinate with airport authorities to grant credentials and security escorts to public health personnel and emergency responders who require access to restricted areas of the airport.
- Make appropriate notifications about the flight.
- Facilitate and supervise the implementation of arrangements, including agreements or memoranda of understanding with appropriate agencies, health care units, airport authorities and service providers, for the management of arriving patient(s) displaying symptoms of COVID-19, including coordination for customs and immigration clearance if needed.
- Ensure availability of appropriate transport for patients suspected of having COVID-19 to a designated facility for further evaluation, quarantine, isolation and treatment as necessary.
- Conduct health risk assessment relating to the arrival and departure of ill or suspect patient(s). Consideration should be given to disease-specific local protocols where appropriate, and assessment should be undertaken at the earliest possible opportunity following disembarkation from the conveyance.
- Establish with airport operators an appropriate area(s) for undertaking health assessment of patient(s) with symptoms of a disease of concern. This area(s) should accommodate appropriate numbers of patient(s).
- Establish a communication strategy that educates and informs in a timely manner relevant agency, the airport operator, aircraft operators and service providers of their obligations as specified in the contingency plan.
- Ensure that all relevant health authorities and border agency representatives are appropriately trained in patient health assessment and management, according to their duties and competences, including use of and access to personnel protective equipment (PPE).
- Assist with logistics, as applicable.
- Patients must be treated:
- With courtesy, and respect for their dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms
- Minimizing any discomfort or distress associated with these measures
Congo Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) on Medevac Flight
MEDEVAC flight shall be conducted in full compliance with respective contracted air operators SOP taking into consideration additional instructions indicated in the points below:
- Transport must be coordinated with the Host Country Ministry of Public Health, Civil Aviation
- Authorities, WHO and requesting agency at origin and destination.
- Infection control policies and procedures shall be established and implemented during all phases of patient transport.
- A portable isolation unit to be provided to contain infected materials and minimize the contamination of the aircraft.
- All baggage shall be placed in plastic bags before loading.
- Personnel providing care during transport should be trained in clinical management, infection control, and correct use of PPE.
- Full set of PPE should be used by all those in the patient care area or who may have contact with patients or their body fluids; infection control guidelines should be followed, and procedures that could increase the risk of exposure to the patient’s body fluids should be avoided. Patients and cabin crew shall wear full PPE set at all times.
- Ground transport of a confirmed case should be handled by appropriate Ambulance. Local arrangements for an Ambulance shall be made in consultation with public health authorities as well as the WHO.
- Aircraft shall be immediately disinfected upon arrival.
- All waste shall be disposed as per State procedures using biohazard bags.
- UNHAS DRC shall not be engaged in MEDEVAC of COVID-19 patients unless the above conditions are fully met.
Each AFOs, coordinated by the Chief Air Transport Officer (CATO) will be responsible to arrange the following:
- Coordinate the flight and administrative arrangements with WHO and Operator/s
- Manage air operations in accordance with UNHAS SAOP
- Verify the overflights and landing permits (if required)
- Inform the local Civil Aviation Authority and customs (if any)
- Verify that all required documents are in place before the flight
- Follow technical provisions of the current SOP
CONTRACTED AIR OPERATORS
Air Operators shall update respective SOPs on the control and management of communicable diseases to address the following elements:
- Infections control measures before, during and post flight
- Handling of suspected infectious disease in-flight
- Aircraft cabin disinfection
- Inflight PPE kits
Congo Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) on Business Continuity
The Air Operators shall provide AFOs with a business continuity plan to address the following elements:
- Crew rotation plan
- Stand-by crew availability and location
- Spare parts supply
- Crew PPE and aircraft disinfectant supply
Congo Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for the Crew
The Crew shall self-monitor their health:
- Take temperature twice daily for fever 37.3 C⁰ or higher and watch for cough or difficulty breathing
- Report any of the above signs or symptoms to your Project Manager, who will contact UNHAS
- Call Medical Section for advice if needed
- Notify UNHAS AVSEC, who will coordinate call with Medical Section if above signs or any symptoms occur
- Limit unnecessary movements and contacts.
- Exercise social distancing at all times, and avoid touching areas in aircraft, except in cockpit.
Congo Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) Aircraft cleaning and Disinfection
Air Operators shall establish mandatory routine disinfection of aircraft daily. Aircraft shall go through increased disinfection procedures:
- Substances containing 62%-71% ethanol alcohol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite are recommended; however, the suitability of the substances should be confirmed against the aircraft manufacturers’ documentation. If available, using a fogging technique with a highly effective disinfectant, before and after the flight, is highly recommended.
- Bleach-based products could be corrosive and should be avoided on certain parts of the aircraft. Also contact the aircraft manufacturer’s customer support for the cleaning and disinfection products they recommend. Ensure adequate contact time between the disinfectant and the surface for destruction of microorganisms.
- Additional reference may be found in the established World Health Organization Guide to Hygiene and Sanitation in Aviation, 3rd edition, Article 3 “Cleaning and Disinfection of Facilities”, as a universal guide for detailed aircraft disinfection procedures. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310712/#ch3.s4
- Disinfect the aircraft after each stop, and before passengers are to be boarded; including but not limited to:
- Seats – Seatbacks and seat-belt buckles
- Light and air controls
- Adjacent walls to seats and windows
- Surfaces that may be touched by passengers
- Tray tables, armrests
- Cargo hold and Other areas as required.
- Do not use compressed air and/or water under pressure for cleaning, or any other methods that can cause splashing or might re-aerosolize infectious material. Vacuum cleaners should be used only after proper disinfection has taken place.
- Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) recommended by your national public health authority. Note that PPE requires appropriate training before use.
- Remove and discard gloves if they become soiled or damaged, and after cleaning.
- Wash hands with soap and water immediately after PPE is removed. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be used as an alternative if the hands are not visibly soiled.
- Dispose of soiled material and PPE in a biohazard bag if one is available. If not, place in an intact plastic bag, seal it, and label it as biohazard.
- If a suspected case was transported, ensure affected seats and adjacent rows cleaning is immediately performed with appropriate disinfectant.
- For confirmed cases, ensure aircraft cabin deep cleaning is immediately performed with appropriate disinfectant.
All registered users shall be informed about the UNHAS screening procedures applicable to all passengers and additional measures taken to avoid the spread of the virus. The following message shall be sent to all registered users:
“Dear members of the UNHAS Users Community:
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve in the country, we have implemented preventative measures to reduce the spread of the virus and to assist in protecting the health of all our passengers and staff members.
All passengers on all flights are:
- Required to wash and disinfect their hands before entering the UN terminal or before checking-in and before boarding the aircraft.
- Required to use a mask to cover mouth and nose and gloves to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus during all the stages of the travel using UNHAS services. The mask and gloves must be provided by the passengers’ agency or by themselves.
- Required to undergo temperature checks which will be undertaken using a non-contact infrared thermometer.
- Not allowed to sit next to other passengers, seats will be blocked.
- Encouraged to use the toilets at the terminals before boarding. The use of the toilets in flight will be restricted to urgencies.
Furthermore, a procedure for health screening has been introduced for all passengers entering UN air terminals, UNHAS compounds and aircraft. After the ID check, our staff will inform of screening reasons and process and ask the following questions:
- Do you feel sick or show any symptoms, including fever, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties? Have you been unwell in any way in the past?
Following the questionnaire, the temperature will be taken pointing a non-touch thermometer to the forehead of the passenger. If a passenger shows no symptoms, answers negative to the questions and has no temperature, she or he will be asked to disinfect their hands and proceed to check-in.
If a passenger shows symptoms associated with COVID-19, answers positive to any of the questions, and/or has fever, she/he will not be allowed to proceed with check-in. In this case, she/he will be accompanied to an isolated area, asked to keep 1-meter distance from other people and informed that they show COVID-19 symptoms and should seek medical assistance. UNHAS will then inform the passenger’s user agency and coordinate further actions. They can also rebook their flight at no cost.
People who are suspected of COVID-19 will not be allowed to use UNHAS before they have been symptom free without medication for a minimum of 24 hours.
It is highly recommended that passengers always carry hand sanitizer with them. Even though UNHAS disinfect the aircraft before new passengers are boarding, it is recommended to carry disinfectant wipes and clean the seats before use as some may have been accidentally touched again.
Kindly please pay attention to the precautionary measures that we should all follow to avoid passing the virus on to our colleagues and others.”
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