Aviation Regulator Amends Breath Test Rules To Check Coronavirus Spread

New Delhi: 

Amid the outbreak of the infectious novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, in the country, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has said employees of airlines or the Airport Authority of India (AAI) must be examined by a medical personal for symptoms before they are subject to breath analyser (BA) tests that involve blowing into a machine.

The move has been announced to check the spread of the coronavirus, as it will minimise contact between possibly infected personnel and their healthy colleagues. The virus is believed to spread via tiny droplets as an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Personnel listed in a notification issued by Maneesh Kumar, Deputy Director General of the DGCA, include pilots and cabin crew, as well as staff working airside on the ground.

Should they exhibit symptoms associated with the coronavirus – fever, cold, cough, a running nose – they are to be removed from duty and undergo a detailed examination. They will be allowed to return to active duty only after having been declared fully fit.

In the notification the DGCA also said personnel exhibiting symptoms would be exempt from appearing for otherwise-mandatory BA tests.

This order is effective till March 13.

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