COVID-19: Taiwan quarantines Chinese pilots for 14 days
TAIWAN is quarantining all pilots under China Airlines Ltd for 14 days, as part of its measures to stop a COVID-19 outbreak among airline crew, reported Reuters.
Since April, China Airlines, Taiwan’s largest carrier, has been plagued with an outbreak linked to its pilots and an airport hotel where many of them stayed.
There have been 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the cases linked to the airline’s crew.
Taiwan’s Health Minister, Chen Shih Chung said on May 10 (Monday) that the only way to break what they believe is a chain of transmission is to quarantine all pilots from the airline currently in Taiwan.
The move to quarantine all of the airline’s pilots effectively amounts to a 14-day grounding for China Airlines.
China Airlines pilots returning to Taiwan will also undergo quarantine, the minister told reporters.
“This will have a big impact on China Airlines, on its passenger and freighter flights, and for the crew too. But for the safety of the whole community we cannot but make this decision,” Chen said, according to Reuters.
The hotel, Novotel, has been fined NT$1.27 million for violating basic quarantine rules, according to Taiwan News.
35 infected with COVID-19 linked to possible chain of transmission. On Apr. 20, two cargo pilots from China Airlines tested positive for COVID-19.
As of May 10, 35 people infected with COVID-19 have been linked to the cases related to the Novotel Airport Hotel in Taiwan.
The 35 patients include China Airlines crew, the pilots’ relatives, and Novotel staff members and their family members as well, reported Focus Taiwan.
Taiwan’s health authorities believe that some of the pilots were infected overseas, and later spread to others when they were back in Taiwan, while others could have been infected by pilots from other airlines staying at the same airport hotel as well.
The cases have caused alarm in Taiwan, which has generally kept its pandemic numbers under control since the beginning of the outbreak.
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