Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika has explained why people boarding planes do not observe social distancing.
There have been concerns that social distancing was not being observed in aircrafts since the resumption of flights last week, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Sirika, speaking as he embarked on a simulation return flight to the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano at the weekend, said the nature of the airplane remained so hygienic that social distancing was not necessary.
Sirika had gone to the Kano airport to assess the preparation of the airport for resumption of flights.
He said that ticket fares for boarding a flight was made ‘affordable’ because of the non-observance of physical distancing in flights.
“Because of the nature of the airplane, the airplane is hygienic enough once you have your mask, you are safe to remain seated on your seat and where possible, we will keep the distance.
“Airplanes are designed in such a way that the ambient air at altitudes is clean. It is not contaminated. The air is dropped in the aircrafts, pressurised and because of pressurization, the temperature of the air goes up to 200 degrees which is twice boiling water and there is no bacteria or virus that can survive it and it is suddenly cooled to about 2 degrees centigrate and then it is passed to a filter.
“Passing through the filtration system ensures that every single organism is screened and then it is passed to the cabin and once it is passed through the cabin, it comes from the ceiling downwards.
“So, it is not coming from the cockpit to the rear, it is from the ceiling downwards and it drops on the floor and gets circulated.
“With this mechanism in place, everything will be safe provided that we are decontaminating the airplane before we enter and decontaminating after we leave and also cleaning all the possible surfaces that one will touch,” Sirika said.
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