Flimsy Gear, Not Enough Sanitisers: Air India Pilots Complain Amid COVID-19 Outbreak (Representational Image) (Photo Credit: File Photo - PTI Image)
Air India pilots on Monday complained to Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri about the poor quality of the protective gear that they have been provided to them, reported NDTV. It is to be noted that the Air India pilots have been flying to various parts of the world to bring back stranded Indians amid coronavirus outbreak.
"Our pilots and cabin crew are being provided substandard, ill-fitting and flimsy Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that tear/disintegrate easily on rescue flights," NDTV quoted a letter written by Air India pilots to Hardeep Singh Puri. "Sanitisers are not provided in sufficient quantities and disinfection processes are short of industry best practices," the letter added.
The pilots have further requested for better medical care as they have been working day and night to bring stranded Indians back in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak.
"...every resource of the AI medical services that currently exists (e.g. doctors, ambulances, infrastructure) be made available 24x7 to support the flying crew and their families for consultations, coordination with respective State Health Depts, COVID testing and treatment - as may be required for affected crew members should such a need occur. This is the minimum level of support expected from an organisation that sends its employees to a bio-hazard frontline," the letter said.
Also, the pilots raised the issue of an additional insurance policy. "There is no additional insurance policy for our pilots or cabin crew to cover any COVID-19 related risk," the pilots wrote in a letter.
"Our flying related allowances, comprising 70 per cent of our total emoluments, remain unpaid since January 2020. To add insult to injury, we have also recently been informed by our management of a substantial pay cut, while in the midst of the above mentioned COVID rescue operations!" the pilots wrote.
In India, the death count has reached 30 due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus in the country. According to the latest update, a total of 1,071 cases of coronavirus has been reported in India.
It is worth mentioning here that the novel coronavirus, which originated in China, has claimed over 34,000 lives across the world. With no known cure so far for the coronavirus, the deadly disease has become a major issue for the entire world.
(With Inputs from NDTV)