Aviation regulator DGCA on Friday issued guidelines to aircraft operators who plan to transport COVID-19 vaccines packed in dry ice across the country. If the vaccines in dry ice are transported in the passenger cabin of an aircraft, the flight crew should be trained on the hazards and risks, it noted. Dry ice transforms into carbon dioxide gas at temperatures higher than –780 Celsius under normal atmospheric pressure and, therefore, it is classified as “dangerous goods” by the International Civil Aviation Organization, it said.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation said, “Adequate number of carbon dioxide detectors should be available in the cabin. Such detectors should be located at locations for timely and reliable detection of dangerous concentration of carbon dioxide.”

“All operators while engaging in transportation of COVID-19 vaccines packed with dry ice shall establish the maximum quantity of dry ice that can be loaded in a given cargo hold or in the main deck (passenger cabin) when a passenger version is deployed for all cargo operations,” it said.

The country is preparing for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and the second nationwide mock drill on the drive was conducted on Friday.

India’s drugs regulator has approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, being manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country. – PTI