The world is in uncharted territory with the coronavirus outbreak – W.H.O
We have been accosted by news about the new Coronavirus since December 2019 with reports of new cases emerging in countries all over the Globe every single day. On 11th March 2020, the World Health Organization, WHO, declared the outbreak as a Global Pandemic and Ghana confirmed its first 2 cases on 12th March 2020.
With the evolving global spread, many operations have been affected if not halted. In order to protect the staff and the Passengers, PassionAir has adopted basic precautionary measures to be actioned by their employees to minimize the risk during operations;
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
- Where soap and water is not available, use alcohol-based hand rub accordingly;
- Maintain Social distancing by avoiding unnecessary contact: use other means of greetings i.e. waving, elbowing etc.;
- Avoid touching your mouth, face and eyes ;
- If you feel you have the symptoms please seek medical advice!
To further reinforce personal prevention measures in light of the just confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ghana, the following are measures the company has put in-place to create awareness and reduce risk during operations:
Our dedicated team of Passenger handling agents are available to provide assistance and information required where available to ensure Passengers are at ease and comfortable to fly. The personnel have been equipped with information available pertaining to the COVID-19 outbreak that will enable them identify symptoms and address them discreetly to avoid any panic.
While assisting Passengers, personal protective wear such as gloves and masks where necessary will be donned and alcohol-based hand rubs used for hygiene purposes. Passengers will also be provided with the alcohol-based hand rubs before boarding the flight.
Aircraft and Cabin Environment
PassionAir aircraft are maintained per the established program aimed at providing a clean and inviting cabin environment. The Dash-8 Series 400 aircraft Environmental Control System (ECS) supplies fresh conditioned air from its two packs to the Cabin and Cockpit. Part of the air from the cabin is recirculated after filtration using HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. The aircraft are also designed with an air circulation system, that mixes in fresh air from outside the plane to ensure a continuous flow of fresh air. The total replacement time of air on ground and at cruise altitude (25,000ft) are 2.0 minutes and 2.06 minutes respectively.
In addition to tidying each aircraft between flights, we are expanding the use of disinfectants throughout the aircraft, and it will be used in the cabin, on elements in the flight deck, and in the lavatory. Alcohol-based hand rubs have also been availed for use in-flight. Protective equipment such as gloves and masks have been provided to staff for protection while conducting this critical but essential task for the benefit of the operations.
Further and deep disinfection of Aircraft interior will be conducted periodically (fortnight) to ensure any residual microorganisms are eliminated.
We have equipped all of our aircraft with additional stocks of gloves, sanitizers, and surgical masks. While the use of masks has been recommended for protection, they have minimal benefit to prevent wearers from contracting the virus, however, they help contain potential spread of infection from someone who may already be sick.
Should one develop symptoms i.e. cough, cold, fever, breathlessness etc…during the flight, the cabin crew may provide the mask as a precautionary measure and reseat the passenger should the need arise.
Staff & Customer Awareness
Knowledge is power! With the rate at which the outbreak is evolving, it is important that one gets the latest information. There have been many myths than facts pertaining to the virus. While we cannot confirm nor ignore information obtained from various sources, we urge Personnel and Passengers to ascertain the source of information before sharing to avoid creating fear and panic!
We are closely following updates from Ghana Health Service as well as internationally, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control (CDC), for guidelines on how to best handle the crisis. This updates, as well as day to day tips, are shared via emails and on the PassionAir website. Links to the various advisory bodies have been provided for ease of access.
Following the directives from the government of Ghana, the company has imposed restrictions on non-essential travel for staff outside the country. Measures include pre-screening of the crew coming into Ghana from their travel history as well as a mandatory 14 days quarantine and medical clearance before resuming duty.