An aviation expert, Mrs Victoria Adegbe, has said the Federal Government can curb the spread of coronavirus without shutting down the nation’s airports.
Adegbe, who is a United States Federal Aviation Administration licensed flight dispatcher, said the Federal Government should review the closure of airports and other economic activities as a way of curbing the spread of COVID – 19, adding that a continuous shutdown would spell doom for the industry.
She said there was a need for the destruction of screening tray at airport terminals, which she said could provide fluid contact from one passenger to another.
Adegbe proposed a ban on the use of such trays and the use of disposable trash bags to be placed at screening points and trashed after use.
Adegbe said, “The solution may not be a total lockdown; where airlines are grounded and the passengers are stranded all over the world. There is a need to look at some things around the airport including automatic terminal doors, which opens on its own accord without passengers touching any handles.
“Then you get to the screening point. Here you put your carry-on in a tray for screening while you pass the screening machine empty handed. Then you pick the tray containing your personal effects, take possession of your items and the tray is picked by the officials to be used by someone else.
“You check in, board, not touching a single person, not assisting anyone to carry any bags for security reasons; no hugs or kisses. So, tell me, how come this COVID-19 spread so fast when airline passengers never touched each other? Simple, it’s the trays.”
She said the solution should be to throw away the trays or burn them, adding that Nigeria could be the first country to implement it, if the government considered the option.
“Use disposable trash bags placed at screening points where you put all your items inside and trash them yourself when done. I believe that’s just what we need to do,” Adegbe said.
She stated that a report published by the New York Times in 2018 found that the plastic trays used at airport checkpoints around the world and touched by millions of passengers as they dropped their carry-on and other items for X-ray scanning harboured a variety of germs.
She also stated that a Forbes publication corroborated the germ spreading capacity of airport trays.
“The trays were described as disgusting and from facts gathered from the Helsinki airport in Finland, research indicated that they carry various viruses such as rhino virus which causes common cold, coronavirus, adenovirus and influenza,” Adegbe said.