Gov’t and airline investigate COVID-19 infection of two pilots

  • 25 March, 2020
  • Jake Chen
Deputy Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai. (CNA Photo)

The transportation ministry and Taiwan’s flag carrier, China Airlines, are investigating how the two pilots of a recent cargo flight became infected with COVID-19. 

The pilots were diagnosed Friday and Monday, respectively. However, the government’s Central Epidemic Command Center only confirmed the two cases on Tuesday.

Some China Airline employees have accused the company’s senior management of covering up the infections. These employees have told Taiwan’s media they fear that this could mean that any people these pilots came into contact with before their diagnosis could now become sick too. 

Deputy Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai said Wednesday that crew on China Airlines’ cargo flights do not mix with the public while on assignment. Wang said that while in airports, they only pass through areas reserved for crew, and that they rarely leave their hotels. Wang said he has asked the airline to identify and fix any gaps in their procedures and submit a report. 

China Airlines CEO Hsieh Shih-chien has criticized media reports saying the airline covered up the two cases. He says these reports deliberately paint the airline in a bad light. He said the company has followed government regulations on preventing disease and that it has done all it can to protect its employees.

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