According to the latest reports, covid-19 exposure on flights is more common than what we all think. Even though the US does not share any details in this regard, Canada has shared the details on their official platforms.
According to data available from Canadian Public Health authorities, covid-19 exposure on flights is almost a daily affair.
Ever since the beginning of the pandemic in March, the public health agency of Canada has identified covid exposure on more than 1600 international flights. Interestingly, several of them fly to the US on a regular basis.
Passengers On 7000 US, Candian Flights Exposed To Covid 19
Canada has been posting the data on public domain and regularly issues alerts for flights, trains and other modes of transport. The flights that are identified to have been infected are listed as soon as authorities receive the information.
As the entire information is available online, other passengers can see if someone on their flight tested positive and watch out for symptoms.
Airlines are worried that some people might look at that disclosure in a negative way. Even though it is important for the airlines to be transparent about such issues, it can affect their business in this situation as several passengers are still afraid to travel in this pandemic situation.
The CDC does not publish a list of affected flights even though they are willing to provide the information when it is specifically requested.
The CDC has revealed very less information in this regard and according to the latest reports, more than 4000 flights within and into the US may have been affected due to covid-19.
Individual cases are occasionally posted on local health department websites that also include flights. Apart from that, several inflight medical emergencies due to covid-19 also reported in the recent months.
However, as there is no specific data in this regard, travellers are not able to get the complete picture about the regularity with which they encounter covid infected passengers on a plane.
Health experts say that the community spread is so big in the US that you are likely to encounter covid infected people in every place. It can happen even with the trains or the Subway and flights are no exception to this situation.
Experts suggest that the only way to mitigate the risk is to cover the face using masks and maintaining social distancing while travelling. While most Travellers can protect themselves by wearing a mask, social distancing becomes a huge problem when they are travelling by flight.
The CDC authorities have said that covid 19 is the toughest virus they have dealt with in the last few decades. They agree that it is nearly impossible to give accurate risk assessment on flights and other activities when they are dealing with pandemic.
There were more than 2 million International passengers arriving in the US in December. Considering this situation, the CDC should have better infrastructure with regards to dealing with covid-19 on flights.
Recently, the CDC has made it mandatory for international passengers to test covid negative before boarding the flights to the US.
As there is a huge increase in the number of new coronavirus cases in the European region, the CDC is forced to take such measures in order to control the spread of the pandemic in the US.
The CDC is also finding it difficult to do contact tracing as they are having a shortage of manpower. Given this situation, the only advice CDC can give to travelers is to practice all safety measures while travelling.
Apart from that, CDC has also asked travelers to stay at home as much as possible and only travel when it is absolutely necessary.