Changi Airport steps up cleaning, hygiene measures in light of COVID-19 concerns

Changi Airport steps up cleaning, hygiene measures in light of COVID-19 concerns

Changi Airport Group is stepping up its precautionary measures across the airport's four terminals and Jewel amid concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak. Deborah Wong reports.

SINGAPORE: Changi Airport Group (CAG) is stepping up its precautionary measures across the airport's four terminals and Jewel amid concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak.

Among the measures being taken is an increase in the number of hand sanitisers from 160 bottles to more than 1,200 bottles.

They have been placed at high-traffic locations, such as check-in rows, departure and arrival immigration areas, as well as food and retail outlets.

READ: Wuhan virus: All travellers arriving in Singapore from China to undergo temperature screening

READ: Town councils step up cleaning at high human traffic areas to counter coronavirus

CAG has also doubled the frequency in cleaning and disinfecting high-contact areas. Disinfectants are used instead of general purpose cleaning solutions for the cleaning of surfaces including floors, countertops, railings and door handles.

For frequently touched surfaces such as the the touchscreens of automated check-in kiosks and lift buttons, CAG has started to use a protective disinfectant coating that prevents viruses and bacteria from remaining on these surfaces.

"With a single application sprayed onto surfaces, the compound used reduces the chance of viruses and bacteria staying on them," CAG said.

Approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as safe and eco-friendly, each application of the disinfectant - quaternary ammonium chloride - lasts between three and six months. 

Disinfectant Jewel canopy park
The bouncing nets at the Canopy Park at Jewel Changi Airport being sprayed with disinfectant. (Photo: Zhaki Abdullah)

CAG is also using “ozone-infused water” to disinfect toilet bowls and urinals as well as the floors of its restrooms.

“Compared to chlorine, the most liquid disinfection chemical, ozone is a much stronger and faster disinfectant,” CAG said.

In addition to screening passengers’ temperature, airport staff as well as other visitors to the transit areas are also required to undergo such screening. 

Visitors entering attractions such as the Canopy Park, Changi Experience Studio and Shaw Theatres at Jewel are also required to have their temperature taken.

As of Thursday, there were 58 confirmed coronavirus cases in Singapore. 

Hand sanitiser at airport
A staff member at Changi Airport Terminal 3 using hand sanitiser from one of the more than 1,200 dispensers now available across the various terminals and Jewel. (Photo: Zhaki Abdullah)

Mr Jayson Goh, managing director for CAG’s airport operations management, said the measures are aimed at increasing passengers' confidence when they travel through Changi Airport. 

“Changi Airport is an important aviation hub, and therefore it’s imperative we keep it operating safe for our airport community, our staff, for passengers, as well as visitors to the airport,” he said, adding that some of these measures had been in the works even before the current coronavirus outbreak.

CAG will continue to use such measures in the longer term should they prove to be effective, said Mr Goh. 

READ: Coronavirus: South Korea, Israel advise citizens to defer travel to Singapore

READ: Singapore tourism to take 'significant hit' in 2020 due to coronavirus, up to 30% fewer visitors expected

Passengers CNA spoke to said they felt more assured by the efforts the airport was taking.

Mr Jeevan George Eapen said he was concerned about the coronavirus outbreak and had brought a mask along with him.  

The Indian national, who was at the airport while on transit on his way to Christchurch, New Zealand, said: "The airport seems very much conscious about the outbreak, so I think the measures are good.”

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Source: CNA/az

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