The novel coronavirus aka COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc across the world, claiming the lives of nearly 4,500 and over 120,000 confirmed cases of infection. The coronavirus outbreak has taken a toll on the economy of multiple countries, starting with the tourism industry to the airline industry and IT companies to various food chains. This novel virus has also forced millions of tourists to cancel and postpone their flights to China. Moreover, to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, multiple countries have imposed a travel ban on people arriving from China.
As we all know, the Lion City has been leading the race when it comes to public hygiene, with its strict littering laws that keep its streets clean of unwanted garbage. In current times, Singapore’s hygiene is something that most countries can only dream of. Usually, we hear people criticize Singapore’s strict laws and on the other hand, most praise the country for it.
But, the coronavirus epidemic hasn’t spared one of the world’s cleanest cities either. Singapore currently has a total number of 77 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Let’s take a look into how Singapore’s Changi Airport is fighting the coronavirus epidemic. Changi Airport Group (CAG), the authority overseeing Changi Airport has taken several measures to ensure that the virus does not spread from person to person.
One of the measures is that the airport has increased the number of hand sanitizers to 1,200 from its usual 160 bottles. These sanitizers have been placed in various locations inside the airport, including high-traffic areas, food, and retail outlets, check-in rows, arrivals, immigration, and departure areas. Don’t be surprised if you find a hand sanitizer at every turn you take inside the airport.
The CAG has also increased the frequency of cleaning and decontaminating the airport premises. The cleaners are provided with specific disinfectants instead of the general-purpose solutions that are used for cleaning floors, countertops, door handles and knobs, and railings.
A unique protective disinfectant coating has been applied on frequently touched surfaces like touchscreens of kiosks and lift buttons, to prevent bacteria and viruses from sticking on to the surface. A CAG spokesman said, “With a single application sprayed onto surfaces, the compound reduces the chance of viruses and bacteria staying on them.”
The CAG has mentioned that they are using disinfectants that have been declared as safe and eco-friendly by the US Environmental Protection Agency. These disinfectants, made of quaternary ammonium chloride usually last for about three to six months. Taking note of restroom floors, latrines, and urinals, the CAG has provided cleaners with ozone-infused water to clean them. Ozone is said to be a better disinfectant when compared to chlorine and other cleaning liquids.
Alongside passengers, the airline crew, visitors and airport staff have also been asked to undergo a screening procedure to ensure that the COVID-19 stays at bay. On the other hand, screening equipment has also been installed at tourist attractions near the airport, like the Canopy Park, Changi Experience studio and Shaw Theatres at Jewel, to screen all the incoming visitors.
The Managing Director for CAG’s Airport Operations Management, Jayson Goh stated that these precautionary measures are intended to increase passengers’ confidence when they travel through Changi Airport. When passengers travel to, from or via Changi Airport, they should be confident that they are in safe hands.
Jayson said, “Changi Airport is an important aviation hub, and therefore it is imperative that we keep it operating safely for our airport community, our staff, for passengers, as well as visitors to the airport.” Most of these precautionary measures were already being followed even before the coronavirus outbreak became an epidemic. Also, Jayson said that they would continue to have these methods in place for the long term, in case, the methods prove to be effective.
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