Taiwanese EVA Airways has expelled a pilot blamed for the country’s first domestic transmission of the coronavirus in eight months.
The airline said that the New Zealand pilot, who was not named, was responsible for injuring a local woman, the first local case in 253 days. According to Yahoo! News. The company said in a statement that the pilot violated public safety rules and seriously damaged the company’s reputation and image.
The airline said the man worked without a mask despite being reminded of the masking rule by a Taiwanese colleague, who subsequently tested positive. The pilot, who was reportedly coughing during a flight to the United States on December 12, was fined the equivalent of $ 10,600 for failing to “honestly” recount his activities and communications, according to Yahoo!
Of the 173 people who had contact with the infected woman, 170 had tested negative, according to Taiwan’s Health Minister Chen Shihzhong. The pilot is believed to have visited multiple stores, among other locations, but said earlier that he was unable to remember his whereabouts, and that he had not told the authorities that he had contacted the injured local woman.
Current protocols require any pilot arriving on the island to quarantine for a period of three days for each flight abroad, a requirement that will be tightened as a result of the outbreak.
Taiwan, which closed its borders and implemented lockdown measures early in the epidemic, recorded only 776 cases of the virus and seven deaths. Each case of the virus between April and December involved a handful of repatriated Taiwanese and foreign citizens.