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2021 ICAO catalogue -

ICAO Council approves new pandemic response and recovery measures
The ICAO Council approved six new COVID-19 recommendations and amended two others, as countries continue to address latest information and cooperate to optimize the role of international air transport in global pandemic recovery and ensure the speedy resumption of air travel.

The new and amended recommendations and updated guidelines are contained in the High-Level Cover Document and ‘Take-off’ Guidelines issued by the Council’s Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART), established shortly after the pandemic was identified by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Following the emergence of new virus variants, the vaccine rollouts, and other innovations to battle COVID-19, the work of CART has targeted specific issues related to testing and vaccination of passengers as part of a State’s multilayer risk management strategy with the ultimate objective of restoring public confidence in air travel and getting passengers to fly again. After the 70% decrease in air traffic, international air transport can now see the light at the end of the tunnel thanks also to these new recommendations and guidelines” commented ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano.

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A game changer for air travel: Indonesia’s COVID-19 breath analyzer

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to accelerate around the world, the majority of developing countries are still encountering supply shortages with COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Many have no domestic manufacturing capacities so they rely heavily on imports. With a limited supply available at premium costs, only economically advantaged countries are able to invest more to import diagnostic tests. Testing remains the foremost determinant of a country’s success in containing the coronavirus. A lack of testing can paralyze any plan to curb the outbreak, since tracing and isolating COVID-19 suspected cases is best carried out following a rapid response to testing.

In responding to this challenge, the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation is ready to introduce rapid COVID-19 breath tests for domestic air travel on 1 April 2021. Four airports in Medan, Bandung, Yogyakarta, and Surabaya will be the first to start using a breath analyzer device that can electronically ‘smell’ the novel coronavirus and detect infection almost immediately. The Ministry is also anticipating that the device will be used for mass screening in high-traffic areas such as seaports, train stations and airports, and various other applications.
The COVID-19 breath analyzer device was developed by a group of Indonesian scientists at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta. These researchers claimed that it is a faster, cheaper, non-invasive, and reliable way to detect ongoing COVID-19 infections. The device uses artificial intelligence to analyze a breath sample and identify a unique volatile organic compound (VOC) exhaled by a person infected by COVID-19. The Indonesian government granted a distribution permit for the device in December 2020; the device is currently patent-pending.

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