Wear diapers to reduce bathroom visits, China tells flight deck crew

Cabin crews deployed on special flights to high-risk Covid-19 destinations should wear disposable diapers to reduce bathroom visits, China’s aviation regulator said, as fewer bathroom visits will reduce the risk of infection.

The recommendation is part of a new set of guidelines for airlines and flight and cabin crew issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

The 38-page document entitled “Prevention of the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 for airlines” and a separate 11-page guide “Prevention of the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 for airports” also focus on monitoring and caring “psychological” health. of the flight crew and airport personnel.

They should receive humanistic care and psychological counseling, according to the guidelines.

The CAAC, which posted the recommendations on its website, said they apply to charter flights to and from countries and regions where infections exceed 500 per million people.

Advice on diapers is in a section on personal protective equipment.

“It is recommended that the cabin crew wear disposable diapers and avoid using the bathroom, unless special circumstances reduce the risk of infection,” the guidelines said.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) for cabin crew members includes medical protective masks, double-layer disposable medical rubber gloves, protective goggles, disposable caps, disposable protective clothing, and disposable shoe covers.

On the mental health front, the guidelines say family pressures from crew members must be taken into account.

“Efforts will be made to understand the mental health conditions of front-line crew members. The scheduling of tasks for international flights will be carried out after fully considering the psychological conditions, personality, current pressures of family life, the social support system and other circumstances of the crew members ”, recommended the CAAC.

Among the necessary psychological measures that must be taken are the creation of the environment “achieve psychosocial security.”

Effective mental health support and assistance will be provided to aviation personnel through cooperation between aeromedical professionals, other medical professionals, psychology professionals, and aviation personnel, and “a peer support group will be promoted among personnel to facilitate mutual support and encouragement. “

Another tip for flights includes dividing the cabin into “clean area, buffer zone, passenger seating area and quarantine area” separated by disposable curtains.

The last three rows should be designated as an emergency quarantine area, CAAC said.

While most international flights remain suspended, China’s domestic civil aviation market has shown signs of rapid recovery.

A total of 371,000 domestic passenger flights took off in September, 3.5% more than a year ago, Qiao Yibin, an official with the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said at a news conference in October.

Domestic passenger numbers reached 47.75 million, or 98% of 2019 levels, Qiao said.

Airlines have launched promotional deals with all-you-can-fly packages to fuel a recovery in Chinese passenger numbers, though they are based on lower fares than the previous year, according to a Reuters report.