In the fight against coronavirus, various airlines across the globe have stopped providing certain utilities like hot meals, blankets, newspapers, etc. to control the spread of the virus. By Tanvi Jain
Amid the recent outbreak of the deadly coronavirus that has already claimed over 130 lives in China, some of the flights to the country have decided not to serve any hot meals, blankets or newspapers, in order to curb the spread of the virus.
Mandarin Airlines has reportedly stopped serving hot meals and has also replaced tablecloths and napkins with paper towels, apart from avoiding blankets, pillows, towels, magazines and newspaper, on cross-strait and Hong Kong flights. Similarly, Thai Airways is spray-disinfecting passenger cabin and cockpit on all flights returning from China. Moreover, crew members on Singapore Airlines and Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd are being allowed to wear masks on China flights, and American Airlines is providing hand sanitiser wipes to attendants on departure to China.
Furthermore, Taiwan’s China Airlines has reportedly encouraged its passengers to carry their bottles for drinking and has replaced re-usable items with disposables. British Airways and Indonesia’s Lion Air have also suspended all direct flights to China.
The said announcements were made after United Airlines Holdings Inc’s decision to suspend 24 US flights to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai over a sharp drop in demand.
A video by Thai Airways showing its staff in hazmat suits spraying down a cabin drew has also garnered immense praise on social media.
India is also not behind in taking measures against coronavirus. Not only has IndiGo suspended all flights to and from China, but Air India and SpiceJet have also waived cancellation fee and rescheduling charges up until further notice.
Thailand reportedly had at least 11 million Chinese visitors in 2019. However, as many as 14 cases of coronavirus have made it the second worst-hit country outside China.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also appealed to the whole world to be on alert for fighting coronavirus.
The city of Wuhan, which is the epicentre of the outbreak has been under lockdown since January 23, and attempts are continuously made to evacuate hundreds of foreign nationals.
Hong Kong has also announced its plans to slash cross border travel, to and from mainland China.
So far, the coronavirus has spread across as many as 16 countries.