Govt issues guidelines for expeditious COVID-19 vaccination of aviation personnel

By: |
May 06, 2021 3:20 PM

The Centre on Thursday issued guidelines to facilitate expeditious COVID-19 vaccination of aviation personnel working in government as well as private entities.

The facilities created by airport operator would be available for all aviation personnel in the first phase and can be extended to the family members subsequently

The Centre on Thursday issued guidelines to facilitate expeditious COVID-19 vaccination of aviation personnel working in government as well as private entities. A dedicated vaccination facility will be established by the airport operators in their respective airports to facilitate expeditious vaccination of staff, the guidelines issued by the the Civil Aviation Ministry stated. Priority during vaccination should be given to the air traffic controllers (ATCs), cockpit and cabin crews of the airlines as well as mission-critical and passenger-facing staff, it said.

India has been badly hit by the second wave of coronavirus infections even as hospitals in several states are reeling under a severe shortage of vaccines, oxygen, drugs, equipment and beds. The guidelines stated that the operator should immediately contact the state governments or private service providers (hospitals), which are willing to set up COVID-19 vaccination centres at the airports. There can be more than one service providers at any airport depending on number of personnel working in the aviation ecosystem,” it stated.

The airport operators must establish facilities like drinking water, help desk, ventilation, fans, wash rooms, vaccination counters and segregated waiting area, it said. The cost per vaccination dose can be decided by the airport operator with the service provider and it will be same for aviation personnel, it mentioned. The focus of major airports could be on tying up with private service providers, it noted.

“For the smaller airports where the numbers to get vaccinated are less and private players do not find it viable the airport operators can approach the district or local administration for extending the vaccination programme,” it added. The facilities created by airport operator would be available for all aviation personnel in the first phase and can be extended to the family members subsequently, it mentioned.

“All airport operators are advised to designate a nodal officer — and alternative nodal officer may also be kept in readiness — for coordinating the efforts,” the guidelines noted. “Chairman of Airports Authority of India (AAI) will hold regular meetings to review the progress and coordinate with the Civil Aviation Ministry, and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will address issues or challenges” it said. The AAI owns and manages more than 100 airports across the country.

“This is the broad framework to facilitate expeditious vaccination of the civil aviation community in the country,” the guidelines said. New coronavirus cases and deaths in India hit a record daily high with 4,12,262 new infections and 3,980 fatalities being reported, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,10,77,410 and the death toll to 2,30,168, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

Registering a steady increase, the active cases have increased to 35,66,398 comprising 16.92 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has dropped to 81.99 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed.

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