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Taiwanese Airline Fires Pilot Believed To Have Caused Island’s First Covid-19 Case In 253 Days

Taiwanese Airline Fires Pilot Believed To Have Caused Island’s First Covid-19 Case In 253 Days
Taiwan’s Eva Air has fired a New Zealand pilot who has been blamed for causing Taiwan's first domestic coronavirus transmission in months.
A person who had come into contact with the pilot had tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday which was the first case in the island in 253 days.
The local government has since suspended some public Christmas activities and has also suggested that people should stay back at their homes during the New Year's Eve.
Only 777 Cvoid-19 infections and seven deaths because of the pandemic have been recorded in Taiwan on the overall.
It is believed that the pilot in had got infected with the disease sometime in December but had not shown any symptoms of the disease.
The government has directed that all pilots who are returning to the island should remain in quarantine for a period of three days but they will not be tested unless they show any symptoms.
The pilot in question continued to fly as he was obviously unaware that he carried the virus but it has ben reported that he had already started to cough during a later flight while returning back from the United States.
The pilot tested positive on 20 December.
Taiwan authorities discovered the first domestic infection in the island two days later and they traced back the infection in the woman to have been caused after she had come in contact with the pilot in question. 
The charge against the pilot is that he had not disclosed information about all of the people that he had come into contact with before he tested positive to a Cvoid-19 test. For failing to properly declare those contacts and activities to officials, the pilot was slapped a fine of 300,000 Taiwanese dollars or $10,600.
The airline the pilot was employed with fired him because he had violated the its operational principles which included the failure to wear a mask in the cockpit, Eva Air said.
It is also believed that two of his colleagues had got infected because of the pilot other in addition to the woman, which included a pilot from Japan and another one from Taiwan.
The name of the pilot has not been disclosed by either Taiwanese authorities or the airline. However Eva Air said in a statement that "the behaviour of an individual employee has undermined everyone's efforts at epidemic prevention" and had brought "serious damage to the company's reputation and image".
Taiwanese authorities are planning to further strengthen the Covid-19 safety requirements for airlines after the emergence of the new case.
Tracing of the contacts of the infected women by health authorities has revealed that she had come into contact about 170 people and those people have either been sent to home quarantine or are being closely monitored for Covid-19 symptoms.
Authorities have also disinfected the shops the pilot and the woman had visited as well as anyone who had visited the store has been asked to get himself or herself tested for Covid-19.
The gym, café and canteen of the company where the woman works have been shut and employees have been restricted from eating at their desk and visitors have been banned from entering the premises.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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