Coronavirus pandemic | Eating out during COVID-19 poses more risk than air travel: Study
The study, titled: ‘Aviation Public Health Initiative’, published by the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health suggests that travelling by flight is much safer than a lot of other activities if all COVID-19 protocols are adhered to.
October 30, 2020 / 10:26 PM IST
Eating out at restaurants/cafes and grocery shopping poses far more risk of contracting the novel coronavirus than air travel, a recent study has revealed. The study, titled: ‘Aviation Public Health Initiative’, published by the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health suggests that travelling by flight is much safer than a lot of other activities if all COVID-19 protocols are adhered to.
The Harvard study aims to establish the importance of COVID-19 protocols and various non-pharmaceutical measures such as wearing face masks, cleaning hands, etc, in mitigating the risk of contracting the deadly infection.
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According to the study, if all health guidelines issued are followed properly, it “reduces the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission onboard aircraft below that of other routine activities during the pandemic such as grocery shopping or eating out.”
This means the findings hold true only if the passengers wear face masks inside the flight, the plane’s air conditioning and filtration systems function properly, and the cabin is disinfected well while ensuring enough ventilation from gate-to-gate at the airport.
An excerpt from the study reads: “Airlines and airports are campaigning to inform the public about actions they can take to reduce disease transmission on their journey. This includes public health safety information while booking, at check-in, boarding, and on the aircraft. Cabin crew receive training to identify and isolate potentially infected individuals should a case appear on board an aircraft,” it said.
Notably, the study was funded by airlines, airplane makers, and airports, but the Harvard researchers have claimed it did not influence the study findings. Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here