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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, has taken several preventive measures to stop the new coronavirus (COVID-19) at airports throughout the Kingdom. These measures included allocating a medical team at the arrival ports throughout the Kingdom's airports to examine all arriving passengers (through direct and indirect flights) from regions and countries where the coronavirus is prevalent. Health precautions were implemented with suspected cases, in addition to sterilization and continuous disinfection of all facilities, tools, as well as aircraft. Moreover, a health awareness campaign for all all the traveling public was implemented.
GACA has issued several circulars to all air carriers operating in the Kingdom to implement binding preventive measures on all air carriers arriving to the Kingdom from countries where the coronavirus is posing a threat.
GACA also took several steps to prevent the outbreak of the coronavirus, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, where it implemented many preventive measures for passengers arriving from countries where the virus is posing a threat.
After all the passengers disembark from any given aircraft, the plane is sterilized and disinfected, and when a case is suspected between the passengers, a safe route to transfer of the case is then activated.
The Saudi Aviation Authority shall ensure that all the requirements are present in the procedures and equipment, that include personal protection methods, workers trained to assess and deal with suspected cases, whether the suspicion is on the terminals, or on any other transportation mode, and the procedures and means required to exchange information between transportation operators and health monitoring centers at the ports and the program of the International Health Regulations at the Ministry of Health, with regard to suspected cases among travelers.
This in addition to the existing coordination for the transfer of suspected cases to appropriate health facilities for evaluation, diagnosis and the provision of treatment at the port in dealing with the suspected cases of coronavirus.
Furthermore, with regard to the precautionary measures taken by the national carriers and ground services companies in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, in compliance with GACA instructions, Saudi Arabian Airlines has coordinated with external sources in detecting symptoms of fever or any signs of illness displayed by travelers before boarding its flights. This is applied in all stations listed on the risk list. Suspected cases will not be allowed to board the plane. Furthermore, medical masks were provided to protect the airliner staff, air crew, and passengers, at all stations listed where there is a present risk from the virus. Moreover, Saudi Arabian Airlines will remove all aircraft arriving from stations where there is a risk of infection with the coronavirus upon arrival for deep cleansing and disinfecting. This in addition to training the Saudia crew on how to deal with suspected cases during the flight by using decontamination tools and isolation procedures and submitting reports to the ministry of health to obtain assistance upon the arrival of the aircraft. Saudia has modified its services procedures on the aircraft, to include the usage of gloves and masks, by its crew on route where there is a danger of coronavirus. Saudi Arabia Airlines will also provide medical masks, cleansing kits, and anti-bacterial wipes for passengers and crew on board the flights.
GACA has provided many awareness campaigns at the Kingdom’s airports to educate travelers about ways to prevent the emerging coronavirus. Moreover, GACA in cooperation with the department of health monitoring centers held several workshops on the virus to educate staff working in various sectors in the international airports. This in addition to raising awareness for travelers through spreading health awareness materials and by setting up a mini exhibition to raise awareness about the virus at all international airports.
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