CORONAVIRUS/CAL flight from London arrives, passengers tested, quarantined

12/27/2020 09:08 PM
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CNA photo Dec. 27, 2020
CNA photo Dec. 27, 2020

Read the updated story here: Arrivals from U.K. among 8 new imported COVID-19 cases

Taipei, Dec. 27 (CNA) A China Airlines (CAL) flight from London arrived in Taiwan Sunday evening, with all 114 passengers given a COVID-19 test shortly after they arrived.

As of press time, of the five passengers and 13 crew members that had been tested, four passengers were found to have been showing symptoms, while one another has a fever and has been sent to hospital, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) deputy head Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥) said, noting that none of the crew exhibited symptoms.

Flight CI 082 landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 5:36 p.m., carrying 114 passengers -- 90 Taiwanese, one Chinese, 21 British and two American people.

Upon landing, the passengers were separated from other arriving passengers and taken to an airport lounge, with ground staff members fully protected by masks and protective suits, according to the CECC.

Passengers who have shown symptoms over the past 14 days will be tested immediately, while those with more severe symptoms such as fever will be sent directly to hospitals, the CECC said.

The passenger with a fever (in white) boarding an ambulance that will take him to the hospital. CNA photo Dec. 27, 2020
The passenger with a fever (in white) boarding an ambulance that will take him to the hospital. CNA photo Dec. 27, 2020

The other passengers will be sent to the quarantine centers in six buses and be given their COVID-19 tests there, the CECC said, adding that the group will arrive at the centers by 9 p.m., with testing completed by 11 p.m. and the results available the following day.

All the passengers will then undergo a 14-day quarantine period and must test negative upon finishing it, the CECC said.

The flight was the first to arrive from the U.K. since the CECC last week cut the number of weekly flights between the two countries from two to one and introduced new arrival protocols for travelers from Britain in response to a new coronavirus strain that is believed to be up to 70 percent more contagious than the current one that has caused a global pandemic.

According to Taipei-based Education Ministry, there are 4,050 Taiwanese students enrolled in U.K. colleges.

The ministry said it respects the desire of foreign-based Taiwanese students to return home during the current holiday season, and that its overseas outposts will provide assistance if needed to those who remain in their host countries.

(By Wu Rui-chi and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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