The Taiwanese government issued a fine of 1 million new Taiwanese dollars ($ 35,500) to EVA Air after one of the airline’s pilots was charged with the first COVID-19 case broadcast locally in the country since April.
The pilot, originally from New Zealand, had recently been fired from EVA Air due to the crime.
“EVA Air has always followed the government’s epidemic prevention policies, and most crew members have also followed epidemic prevention regulations,” the airline said earlier this week, as reported by Reuters. “However, the behavior of an individual employee undermined everyone’s efforts to prevent epidemics.”
The pilot, who allegedly traveled between the US and Taiwan, was accused of transmitting the coronavirus to a woman residing in Taiwan. EVA Air said later that it determined that the pilot violated disease prevention regulations, and the government publicly stated that he did not wear a mask in the cabin or declared all of his contacts or trips, according to Reuters.
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On Wednesday, he was recovering in a hospital. The woman he accused of infecting has worked with the Ministry of Health to help track his contacts, 170 of whom have been negative until this week.
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In response to the incident, Taiwan’s Minister of Transport, Lin Chia-lung, suggested that the Taiwan Civil Aviation Administration may implement stricter protocols and more severe penalties for failing to comply with coronavirus prevention regulations.
“For some operators, regulations cannot be implemented, causing certain pilots and flight attendants to fail the confidence of the Chinese people and the country’s commitment,” he wrote on Twitter.
“After discussing with the Central Epidemic Command Center, I asked the Civil Aviation Administration to strictly inspect the airlines and propose specific improvements. quarantine time for the aviation industry. “
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On Wednesday, the Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare reported 776 cases in total coronavirus and seven deaths since the start of the pandemic, citing data from the Taiwan Disease Control Center. Most of these boxes are imported, according to the ministry.
A case of COVID-19 being transmitted internally had not been registered in Taiwan since April 12.