While the deadly coronavirus pandemic has gripped the entire world, India has made every possible effort to evacuate as many Indian nationals as possible from virus hit nations such as China, Iran and Italy among others. Indian Air Force and Air India carriers are being deployed for the evacuations.
However, the Executive Pilots Association of Air India has written a letter to the Ministry of Civil Aviation complaining about the sub-standard quality of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) provided to the crew during their recent evacuation operation to bring back citizens from coronavirus hit countries.
Our pilots&cabin crew are given substandard ill-fitting PPE that tear easily on rescue flights. Sanitizers aren't given in sufficient quantities&disinfection processes are short of industry best practices:Executive Pilots Association,Air India in letter to Civil Aviation Ministry pic.twitter.com/vjIfKfmf3h— ANI (@ANI) March 30, 2020
During our recent rescue flights, the protective equipment being provided to the flight crew has been failing with an alarming frequency or has been plagued with other issues: Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG) in a letter to Chairman & MD of Air India. #COVID19— ANI (@ANI) March 30, 2020
The letter also mentioned that the protective equipment provided to the flight crew has been failing with an alarming frequency or has been plagued with other issues. The letter has also mentioned that hand sanitizers are not given in sufficient quantities, adding that the disinfection processes are not being followed properly to ensure safety of the staff and crew during rescue operations.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, several rescue operations have been carried out by the Indian government to bring back stranded Indians from foreign nations. One of the first rescue operations was from Wuhan, China where the virus is said to have originated. Other evacuation operations were included trips from Rome and Milan in Italy to rescue hundreds of stranded Indians. Recently, 113 passengers stranded at Kuala Lumpur airport of Malaysia were brought back by the Indian government on March 23.