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Travel Airlines Send in World’s Strongest Disinfectants to Fight Virus

11:26  27 february  2020
11:26  27 february  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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Airlines are turning to some of the world ’ s hardest-hitting disinfectants , capable of stopping everything from sexually transmitted diseases Scoot, a low-cost carrier owned by Singapore Airlines , sprayed a mist of “industrial-grade disinfectant ” throughout the cabin -- a process known as fogging.

The World Health Organization will hold a further emergency meeting on the coronavirus on Thursday. British Airways has suspended all flights to and from the Chinese mainland, and the UK' s Foreign Office warned against "all but essential travel" there.

Airlines are turning to the world’s hardest-hitting disinfectants to rid planes of the coronavirus.

a man sitting on a suitcase: Workers in protective suits spray inside an aircraft during a disinfection process in Thailand on Jan. 28. © Photographer: Patipat Janthong/Barcroft Media via Getty Images Workers in protective suits spray inside an aircraft during a disinfection process in Thailand on Jan. 28.

Qantas Airways Ltd., Korean Air Lines Co. and Singapore Airlines Ltd.’s Scoot unit are among carriers that helped evacuate people from the outbreak’s epicenter, the Chinese city of Wuhan, and from a cruise ship off Japan. They’ve stepped up aircraft-cleaning efforts as a result, trying to ensure that planes used in rescue missions are safe to be put back into commercial use.

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World Health Organization officials have praised China’ s aggressive response to the virus by That morning, workers in hazmat suits moved in, washing out stalls and spraying disinfectants . 8 in Wuhan, his family was not alarmed, his daughter said. He was treated in the hospital and sent home.

The World Health Organization (WHO) are again meeting in Geneva to consider whether the virus should be declared a global health emergency. Various countries have implemented evacuation and quarantine plans for nationals wanting to return from China, where the outbreak began in the city of

The standard vacuum-and-wipe cleanups on board have turned into hospital-grade sterilizations with products capable of stopping sexually transmitted diseases and the MRSA superbug. How was this done? And are there any risks for passengers using the planes when they return to service? Here are some answers:

What cleaning products are used?

Qantas used Viraclean, a disinfectant made by Sydney-based Whiteley Corp. It’s a pink, lemon-scented liquid that kills a range of bacteria and viruses including Hepatitis B and herpes simplex, according to the manufacturer. Surfaces heavily soiled with blood or sweat should be soaked with undiluted Viraclean. Gloves and eye protection are recommended, though it’s not classed as a dangerous substance, Whiteley says.

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of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization (WHO).[13][14] Airports and train stations have implemented body temperature checks The initial cases mostly had epidemiological links to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market and consequently the virus is thought to have a

Meanwhile, Japan is sending a plane to Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, to evacuate its citizens. The virus has spread across China and to at least 16 countries globally. Wuhan, as well as wider Hubei province, are already effectively in a lockdown with strict transport restrictions in and out of the area.

Korean Air opted for MD-125. That’s a diluted version of D-125, a cleaning solution made by Microgen and used in industries from health care to poultry farming. The company says MD-125 acts against 142 bacteria and viruses, including salmonella, avian flu, HIV and measles.

How are the planes cleaned?

Qantas used the same Boeing Co. 747 on its two flights from Wuhan and another from Tokyo back to Australia. It was cleaned for 36 hours. Pillows, blankets, magazines and headphones were all thrown out, the airline said. The cabin was sprayed twice with disinfectant, which covered all the seats, floors, armrests, tray tables, overhead luggage bins and walls. The cabin was then wiped down. The plane’s air filters, which are similar to those used in surgical theaters, were also replaced. The 747 was back on the Sydney-Santiago commercial route this week, according to data from flightaware.com.

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The World Health Organization has not classed the virus as an "international emergency", partly because of the low number of overseas cases. "It may yet become one," said the WHO' s director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, COVID-19. CDC will be updating our website and other CDC materials to reflect the updated name.

Korean Air used one Boeing 747 on two flights from Wuhan, and an Airbus SE A330 for the third. As well as spraying and wiping down the cabin, cleaning teams replaced seat covers and dividing curtains near the galleys and disinfected the luggage hold, the airline said. The planes were only allowed back into service with the approval of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Korea.

Scoot, a low-cost carrier owned by Singapore Airlines, sprayed a mist of “industrial-grade disinfectant” throughout the cabin -- a process known as fogging.

What about the future?

It might be possible to disinfect the inside of a plane without any chemicals at all. ACT.Global, whose cleaning system has been used in hotels and on cruise ships, developed a spray-on film that allows a plane cabin to essentially clean itself -- for 12 continuous months. When the transparent coating is exposed to light, a photo-catalytic reaction occurs that kills microbes and purifies the air, according to the Danish company. Chief Technical Officer Christopher Lüscher said the product, which is called Premium Purity, has tested effective against coronavirus strains.

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What’s being done right now?

Many airlines have stepped up normal cleaning procedures to limit the risk of contamination.

Singapore Airlines removed hot towels on some services and took away some of the shared reading material that’s usually found in the back of seats. After each flight, meal trays and television screens are disinfected, while headsets, headrest covers, pillow covers and blankets are all changed, the company said. The cabin air filter system has similar performance to those used in hospital operating rooms, according to the airline.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., perhaps the airline outside mainland China most affected by the health crisis, says it is disinfecting all cabin surfaces after each flight, including baby bassinets. Any plane with a confirmed coronavirus case is cleaned and disinfected again, Cathay said. Hot towels, pillows, blankets and magazines are no longer provided on flights to and from China, while inflight duty-free sales have been suspended. Korean Air has removed pillows and blankets on flights to mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mongolia.

(Adds safety precautions for cleaning fluid in the fourth paragraph.)

--With assistance from Sanjit Das.

To contact the reporters on this story: Angus Whitley in Sydney at awhitley1@bloomberg.net;Kyunghee Park in Singapore at kpark3@bloomberg.net;Nikki Ekstein in New York at nekstein@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net, Will Davies, Ville Heiskanen

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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