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Coronavirus lockdown: Kochi airport set to receive evacuees from Middle East

Pilots and cabin crew of Air India’s first batch of flights have been given training in infection control practices, apart from undergoing RT-PCR test.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: May 7, 2020 1:18:26 am
coronavirus crisis, Indians stuck abroad, indians to be evacuated, India coronavirus, Indians to be airlifted, kerala to receive evacuees from Middle East, indian express Twelve Air India personnel, including four pilots, were trained by Kochi government medical college. (File Photo/Representational)

With Indians stranded in the Middle East to be evacuated from Thursday, elaborate safety measures have been put in place at Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), where the first flight from Abu Dhabi is expected that night.

Pilots and cabin crew of Air India’s first batch of flights have been given training in infection control practices, apart from undergoing RT-PCR test. Twelve Air India personnel, including four pilots, were trained by Kochi government medical college.

Medical college Resident Medical Officer Dr Ganesh Mohan said, “We trained them in using PPE suits and wearing face shield on board and handling health emergencies on flight. They were also trained in infection control practices. The demonstrations were held as per the protocol, and they were given PPE kits,” he said.

Captain Partha Sarkar said the training helped boost confidence of the crew for the mission.

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The first flight from Abu Dhabi will have 179 passengers, and the airport is fully prepared to receive them, a CIAL spokesperson said. The aircraft, which has been disinfected, will have a special parking bay and aerobridge. Passengers will be examined with thermal scanners and temperature guns before they enter the terminal. Symptomatic passengers will have a dedicated way to an ambulance for transport to hospital, while asymptomatic passengers will be taken to a health desk for basic examination.

Baggage will be handed over to passengers after disinfection. An ultraviolet disinfection system developed by DRDO is being installed at the airport. The baggage, after disinfection, will pass through two tunnels for exposure to ultraviolet rays.

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