In one of the most absurd post-covid developments, last week China’s aviation regulator recommended that cabin crew on charter flights to high-risk Covid-19 destinations - such as the US - reduce the risk of infection by using the bathroom. Their solution: use disposable diapers. The advice, first reported by Bloomberg, was published in a 38-page list of guidelines for airlines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China said the recommendation applies for charter flights to and from countries and regions where infections exceed 500 in every one million people. According to the latest data, that would include most countries, and certainly the US where the official number is some 4,400 cases per 1 million people on a rolling 7 day basis.
In addition to wearing diapers, the regulator suggests cabin crew use such personal protective equipment including:
- Medical protective masks
- Double-layer disposable medical rubber gloves
- Disposable caps
- Disposable protective clothing
- Disposable shoe covers
So far there is no mandatory requirement for cabin crew to wear full hazmat suits, although we assume as the global panic rages unabated, this is coming too. The regulator also said that flight crew should wear masks and goggles, but they don’t need diapers.
Other advice for the flights includes dividing the cabin into “clean area, buffer zone, passenger sitting area and quarantine area,” separated by disposable curtains. The last three rows should be designated as an emergency quarantine area, said CAAC. CAAC declined to disclose any more details on the guidelines.
While China’s aviation market was hit hard at the onset of the outbreak in Wuhan, it has since recovered to close to pre-pandemic levels as China's cases remain laughably low, even as the diseases reportedly rages unabated in other regions such as Europe and the U.S. struggle to bring Covid-19 under control.