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This Is How Airlines Are Sanitizing Planes To Fight Coronavirus

By Parker Diakite

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As more cases of coronavirus appear in countries around the world,  the travel industry is feeling the impact.

As the number of coronavirus cases in Italy nearly doubled,  fewer tourists are visiting popular attractions. 

And it’s not just Italy as the demand for international travel decreases now that nearly 60 countries have reported new cases.

Airplanes, however, are still flying and travelers are packing their carry-ons with extra gloves, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes.

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So, what are airlines doing to minimize the spread of germs?  

Brian Parrish, spokesman for Southwest Airlines, told CNN Travel in an interview that the airline company undergoes “regular cleanings between flights and a comprehensive cleaning when aircraft are parked overnight.”

He added, “our cleaning program includes the disinfecting of all hard surfaces within the cabin, as well as seat and carpet cleaning.”

Curtis Blessing, an American Airlines spokesperson, said, “our aircraft, including lavatories, are cleaned on a regular basis, and the depth of the cleaning varies depending on turn times and type of flying.”

As for Delta Air,  the coronavirus outbreak has the company using a new technique called fogging where they sprit the interior of flights from Asia and Italy with a mist of “a highly effective, EPA-registered disinfectant,” as reported in the LA Times.

The Atlanta-based carrier plans to expand the technique to all inbound international flights from countries where coronavirus infections have been reported. Even the linen, dishes, headphones, and food carts are getting an extra round of disinfecting on those planes, the carrier added.

Despite the airline companies’ efforts, the outbreak that has infected more than 90,000 people and killed about 3,000 others, including nine in the United States. 

RELATED: Flight Attendant Diagnosed With Coronavirus After Flights To Los Angeles

The Centers for Disease Control recommends routine handwashing for at least 20 seconds as handwashing provides the most protection.  The CDC also recommends using hand sanitizer with at least 60 to 95% alcohol content and you should avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands. 

If you’re thinking about canceling or postponing, the CDC has a list of destinations with travel notices is available by clicking here.  

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