Coronavirus Fears; Garuda Indonesia Steps Up Sterilizing Measures

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaFlag carrier Garuda Indonesia has stepped up its sterilizing measures in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak by spraying disinfectant to all its aircraft, especially those used to serve flights from and to Chinathe epicenter of the virus' outbreak.

    “We make the effort following the increasing spread of the virus in a number of countries,” said the airline’s operational director, Capt. Tumpal M Hutapea, in a statement in Jakarta, Friday, February 14.

    According to Tumpal, the anticipatory steps are the national airline’s safety and hygiene standard procedures taken during the spread of a virus epidemic, which are done not only at the aircraft's cabin but also in the cargo areas.

    As for the aircraft with tail number of GA 858 departed from Denpasar to Shanghai on January 28, of which one of the passengers reportedly tested positive for the virus, Garuda had conducted further inspection by spraying all the cabin areas and replaced the air filter with the High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting (HEPA) filter to combat viruses and bacteria.

    At present, all Garuda’s aircraft had been equipped with the HEPA filter, Tumpal added.

    “Garuda ensures that all passengers from and to China have passed the profiling procedures and health screenings by airport authorities,” he said.

    Since February 5, 2020, Garuda Indonesia suspended all flight services following the government’s policy in the wake of the rapid spread of the coronavirus and the global emergency status issued by WHO.

    ANTARA