After the announcement of a pandemic and a state of emergency in Kazakhstan, all international flights except for cargo flights had been cancelled. Cargo aircrafts had technical stops for refueling at Karagandy airport. Most of these planes were transporting humanitarian goods.
Repatriation flights left from and arrived at Karagandy airport. Our fellow citizens (students and tourists), who remained abroad at the time of the pandemic, were brought back to Kazakhstan. Foreign students were taken out of Karaganda to other countries.
Waiting areas at the airport were taped to ensure a two-meter distance between the passengers. There are yellow dividers in the check-in, boarding, and baggage claim areas. Registration is carried out by airport workers who are wearing masks and gloves. Antiseptics are installed in check-in areas. Public announcements about the methods of COVID-19 prevention are made over a loudspeaker, and social advertising about the disease is showed on the first and second floors of the airport.
"Despite easing of the measures, we do not stop sterilizing and disinfecting everything. There is no relaxation for us, " - says Galina Rudikova, the Head of the Administrative and Household department.
Airport staff take temperature with no-contact thermometers at the hotel where some passengers and crew stay. Cleaning and disinfection of all rooms and surfaces have been enhanced. Special solution-treated mats are laid before the stairs. Special equipment - aircraft refueling hoses and interiors along with all the equipment used for the aircraft maintenance - is also subjected to thorough cleaning and disinfection. Buses that transport employees and passengers are cleaned and disinfected too. Workers who clean and disinfect transport compartments wear special protective suits, masks, gloves and glasses. These suits are disposable. Used suits are put in the bags and taken away for disposal by a special company. Equipment not used for aircraft maintenance is also cleaned and disinfected twice a day.
According to the employees of Saryarka Airport, it took them about three days to prepare for the new mode of operation. Now, they say, it is not hard for them to comply with all the necessary sanitary requirements, although they have never encountered them before.
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Anastassiya Novikova heads the united editorial staff of informburo.kz web portal and Informburo TV program on Channel 31