As the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, transportation officials around the globe have been looking for methods to keep the passengers and crew safe onboard planes. On November 25, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) released new guidelines for the nation's airline industry, which it oversees.
The document that was titled Technical Guidelines for Epidemic Prevention and Control for Airlines, Sixth Edition, has advice regarding the best hygiene practices for carrying out on aircraft and in airports. But one of the suggestions that personnel like flight attendants wear disposable diapers so that they do not require to use the bathroom, has raised a few eyebrows.
COVID-19 and Air Travel
A section on the PPE advises cabin crew on airplanes to and from high-risk nations to wear "medical masks, double-layer disposable medical gloves, goggles, disposable hats, disposable protective clothing, and disposable shoe covers," as reported by CNN. "It is recommended that cabin crew members wear disposable diapers and avoid using the lavatories barring special circumstances to avoid infection risks," the next sentence read.
While the advice may seem dramatic, it is no secret that the lavatories can be the germiest place on the flight. In August, a woman who was traveling from Italy to South Korea got the virus during her trip and a visit to the washroom, the only place where she did not wear an N95 mask. It was named as the possible source of her infection.
The airplane bathroom design was a hot topic ahead of the coronavirus, but the pandemic has focused efforts on coming up with new solutions. Japanese airline ANA announced previously that this year it was testing out a prototype of a new hands-free lavatory door. Boeing successfully applied for a patent on "self-cleaning lavatory", which uses UV light for cleaning 99.9 percent of bathroom germs after every use.