The awards ceremony for airlines with outstanding performance in disease prevention and aviation safety “Fly to Health, Join Hands to Prevent Diseases” was hosted on December 18. On the same occasion, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC), the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) of MOTC, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of MOL announced their joint collaboration in implementing the “2019 Reward Program for Airlines on Disease Prevention, Preparedness and Response, and Emergency Management”, which is the first of its kind in the world. Taiwan CDC Director-General Chou Jih-haw presented the Excellence Award on Disease Prevention and expressed appreciation to China Airlines, Eva Air, Mandarin Airlines, Tigerair Taiwan, and Uni Air (in alphabetical order), the five airlines that are committed to passenger health and aviation hygiene and safety. Out of these five airlines, Eva Air received the Gold Quality Award for ranking the first in the evaluation this year.
Taiwan CDC Director-General Chou Jih-haw pointed out that the risk of cross-border transmission increases as international exchanges become more frequent. And only when disease prevention is carried out in the aviation sector can we reduce risks posed by imported diseases. He was grateful for the five airlines’ efforts in disease prevention and expected more private companies’ participation to safeguard the health of Taiwanese people. The CAA said that the participating airlines had given full support to evaluation while achieving great performance so people can feel reassured to travel with these airlines.
The evaluation team of this program is formed by experts in infectious disease prevention, airport quarantine, aviation safety, and occupational safety, etc. The evaluation focuses on three major disease prevention indicators “regular preparation,” “occupational safety and hygiene” and “emergency response” as well as 25 subsidiary indicators for document review and on-site evaluation. The evaluation team chairperson Chang Feng-yee said that the five domestic airlines provide passengers with necessary assistance for ticket refunding, if passengers have to postpone their flights due to suspected symptoms. In the meantime, thanks to the active promotion of the MMR vaccination, the vaccination rate of first-line aircrew and ground crew is above 87%. This way, passengers’ health rights are ensured, and a healthier and safer working environment is formed.
Besides choosing airlines that are committed to disease prevention, Taiwan CDC suggested that people collect disease-related information of their travel destinations beforehand. They can schedule a pre-travel consultation at travel clinics if necessary and take precautions to ensure their health and safety. For more information, please visit the Taiwan CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov.tw, or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922).