How to protect yourself against Coronavirus during flights

by Justine Punzalan
Feb 13, 2020
"The risk, if there is one, does not come from the supplied air. It comes from other people," says International Air Transport Association Medical Adviser Dr. David Powell.
PHOTO/S: UNSPLASH

Marami ang nag-postpone muna ng kanilang mga travel plans para makaiwas sa kumakalat na 2019 novel Coronavirus.

Baka raw kasi sa eroplano pa lamang, maging vulnerable na agad sila sa deadly disease na ito, now dubbed "COVID-19".

Pero kung sakali mang sasakay ka ng eroplano in the coming days, ang payo ni Dr. David Powell, ugaliing maghugas ng kamay dahil mas mabisa pa itong proteksiyon kaysa magsuot ng face mask.

Si Dr. Powell ay isang physician at medical adviser ng International Air Transport Association, na naka-base sa Canada.

Kumakailan lang ay ininterbyu siya ng Bloomberg tungkol sa tamang proteksiyon laban sa COVID-19 habang nasa loob ng eroplano.

Na-publish ang article noong February 6, 2020.

Ayon kay Dr. Powell, "Contrary to what people think, the hands are the way that these viruses most efficiently spread...

"Viruses and other microbes like to live on living surfaces like us.

"Just shaking hands with somebody will be a greater risk by far than some dry surface that has no biological material on it."

Continue reading below ↓

Bukod sa imposibleng mapasa ang Coronavirus sa non-living surfaces gaya ng mga upuan at ibang gamit sa eroplano, mababa rin daw ang chances na makuha mo ang virus sa hangin sa loob ng aircraft.

Bakit?

"The risk of catching a serious viral infection on an aircraft is low.

"The air is a combination of fresh air and recirculated air, about half each," he says.

"The recirculated air goes through filters of the exact same type that we use in surgical operating theaters.

"That supplied air is guaranteed to be 99.97 percent [or better free of viruses and other particles.

"So the risk, if there is one, does not come from the supplied air. It comes from other people."

Hand hygiene is, therefore, the most effective way para iiwas ang iyong sarili sa COVID-2019 tuwing magbabiyahe sa eroplano, ayon sa doktor.

"Top of the list is frequent hand washing, hand sanitizing, or both.

Continue reading below ↓

"Avoid touching your face.

"If you cough or sneeze, it’s important to cover your face with a sleeve.

"Better yet, a tissue to be disposed of carefully, and then sanitizing the hands afterward.

"Washing your hands and drying them is the best procedure.

"When that’s not easy to do, alcohol-based sanitizer is a good second-best."

Dagdag ni Dr. Powell, ang pagsuot ng face masks ay mahalaga lamang sa mga taong may sakit: "There’s very limited evidence of benefit, if any, in a casual situation.

"Masks are useful for those who are unwell to protect other people from them."

Ayon sa Philippine Department of Health, dapat magsuot ng face mask kapag ang isang tao ay may ubo, sipon, at respiratory symptoms.

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"The risk, if there is one, does not come from the supplied air. It comes from other people," says International Air Transport Association Medical Adviser Dr. David Powell.
PHOTO/S: UNSPLASH
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