FAI Update #4: Novel Coronavirus Covid-19
Dear clients and partners,
As stated in all our previous Client Updates, FAI continues to follow very closely the Covid-19 situation globally, which has a direct impact on our own aviation business operation as well as that of our clients.
Here is our fourth Covid-19 Client Update together with our latest Operations Position Statement.
While China was clearly the initial focus of our previous Updates, the Coronavirus Covid-19 epidemic is now established globally, although the WHO has still to date, not formally declared Covid-19 to be a Pandemic as defined. Those countries who still have not declared their first cases, are expected to do so within days to weeks.
New case notifications in China seem to have reached a plateau and are now starting to decrease, according to latest statistics. This has been attributed to aggressive local containment measures.
Public health measures aimed at containment globally are now generally focused on education, awareness, and self-quarantine. Specific countries have imposed more draconian measures, including lock-down of whole communities, regions and cities.
Commercial travel restrictions vary widely from country to country, whether outbound restrictions on own citizens, or inbound based on point of origin from defined blacklisted countries.
Official advisories from national governments to their own citizens, published online and in the public domain, similarly vary widely from country to country.
The position changes hourly, with continuous state of flux.
The precise details are available in real time via this link:
FAI Operations Position Statement
At FAI, as a global aviation operator, we have adopted a strong and consistent policy for management of these aeromedical patient transport cases.
Our first priority is to protect our own crews, both flight crews and medical teams.
This is in the interests of their own health and safety, and in our own integrity as a business which has to keep operating globally to serve our clients despite this uncertainty and the changing restrictions.
Our Covid-19 Standard Operating Policy announced previously remains strictly enforced as follows:
1. Confirmed Cases of Coronavirus Covid-19
FAI will offer transportation of patients with confirmed Covid-19 infection on a case by case basis. All flights will be operated in an EpiShuttle PMIU unit with dedicated trained medical teams and equipment.
2. Case Contacts with negative Covid-19 serology
FAI will offer transportation of patients who are positive case contacts as defined, with negative serology test results, on a case by case basis. All flights will also be operated in an EpiShuttle PMIU unit with dedicated trained medical teams and equipment.
3. Patients with conditions unrelated to Covid-19
Air ambulance transports for patients with unrelated diagnoses, from locations where the outbreak is especially established, or have been “blacklisted”, will similarly be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, subject to the following considerations, which will define our ability to perform any such mission:
- Covid-19 case load of the patient’s hospital at the location concerned (where possible)
- The patient has a negative Covid-19 serology test by a methodology recognised by the WHO/CDC
- The patient does not meet the criteria defined as a Contact case
Conditions and Limitations
All cases will be reviewed by the FAI Operations and Medical Management teams, under the following conditions which will define our ability to perform any such mission:
- The Health Authority Infectious Disease Notification processes relevant to all jurisdictions has been followed and approved prior to the mission
- Receiving Care has been confirmed and the receiving hospital is fully informed and willing to accept the patient
- The involved ground ambulance services are briefed accordingly and accept the patient
- The patient and/or relevant family member/legal guardian gives consent to being transported in a PMIU after full disclosure of the risks and limitations involved
- The transport is not in breach of aviation restrictions in place and subject to amendment from time to time as promulgated by international agencies eg: WHO/CDC/National authorities and avia tion agencies
Limitations applicable to EpiShuttle Flights
Transportation in a closed capsule is not an easy experience for the patient. We will do our best to ensure that our teams handle all patients with empathy and special care and attention.
The following limitations are applicable:
- Informed Consent to be signed by the patient or next of kin for transportation in a PMIU
- Informed Consent to agree to mild sedation if needed as assessed by FAI medical team
- No relatives or other non-medical escorts allowed on board (exception: parents of small children subject to individual case by case decision)
- Only hand-luggage is allowed, of a small enough size to be sealed in a red biohazard bag after disinfection
Responsibilities of the Client
At FAI, we will rely on the close co-operation of our clients to provide us with case-critical information for ALL aeromedical transport requests.
- Medical report in full detail
- history of presenting illness
- working diagnosis
- current clinical status in all parameters
- all available diagnostic test results
- Travel and contact history for the past 14 days
- Covid-19 PCR test result
- Exposure of treating facility to patients with Covid-19
- Confirmation of acceptance by national health authorities
- Confirmation by receiving care of case and necessary isolation measures
- Confirmed consent by the patient and/or next of kin for transfer in a PMIU
We will maintain 24/7 open access for clients to communicate information expeditiously.
We are available to discuss all cases in detail with client Operations and Medical management teams.