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Man Shares Importance Of SOP After Close Call With Covid-19 On An Airplane & He’s Absolutely Right

Man Shares Importance Of SOP After Close Call With Covid-19 On An Airplane & He’s Absolutely Right

The risk of contracting Covid-19 in-flight was said to be low if everyone follows safety guidelines.

Akmal Hakim

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One man reminds us all the importance of observing Covid-19 safety guidelines after having quite a close call with the deadly virus while travelling onboard an airplane.

Twitter user aminothman shares how he received an arguably panic-inducing phone call from the Malaysian Health Ministry (MOH) who told him that he was seated next to a person infected with the coronavirus during a trip back from Sabah.

aminothman writes that MOH supposedly had reached out to him on October 1, 2020 informing that the person sitting right next to him on a flight back from Sabah on September 27, had been confirmed positive for Covid-19.

black and white photo of black and white textile
aminothman said that he was not used to wearing a mask at all times but had done so on the plane.
(Lucrezia De Agrò/Unsplash)

aminothman went on to explain that upon returning from his trip, he had observed 14-days of home quarantine and fortunately, all of his test results came back negative.

He continued to mention that throughout the flight, he had done his best to follow Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) by maintaining physical distancing and hygiene practices; wearing gloves and a face mask at all times, as well as to sanitize himself and his seating area and avoiding conversations with other passengers.

Moral of the story is if we truly practice the SOP, even if you were seated shoulder to shoulder with a person positive with Covid-19, it can lower the risk of infection!

aminothman via Twitter

He also encouraged all Malaysians to “religiously” follow guidelines so that we can together flatten the infection curve.

And he is absolutely right!

Research has shown that the risk of contracting Covid-19 onboard planes is relatively low.

Reportedly, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), more than 1.2 billion passengers have travelled by plane since the start of 2020, but only some 44 confirmed and potential cases of Covid-19 transmissions were linked to air travel.

IATA found that the risk of getting Covid-19 in-flight was minimal due to the use of High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that effectively reduce the risk of disease transmissions onboard planes, as well as other implemented measures such as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), make sitting on aeroplanes safer than any other indoor settings.

Read More: AirAsia Agrees Inflight Social Distancing Not Necessary Due To Low Risk Of Infection

Additionally, Malaysia Airlines (MAB) Head of Corporate Safety Oversight, Datuk Dr Mohammad Razin Kamarulzaman, was quoted as saying that it’s completely safe to travel by air during the pandemic if all safety guidelines are properly met.

Covid-19: Sarawak tightens travel conditions after cases rise in Sabah,  says deputy CM | Malaysia | Malay Mail
Covid-19 screenings for travelers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)
(Malay Mail)

However, health experts cannot stress enough the importance of simple measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends for the public, particularly the sick and elderly to avoid travelling altogether to places with outbreaks of Covid-19 and to always practice appropriate hygiene measures and etiquette.

For air travel, the WHO says that we should always keep our hands cleaned and sanitized, avoid touching our mouth and nose, wear a face mask whenever we can, and to also cough and sneeze the correct way by covering our faces and immediately dispose of anything with bodily secretions.

The WHO also recommends for authorities to maintain strict protocols for screening, contact tracing and to quarantine air travellers if needed.


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