Up until this week, Taiwan hadn’t reported a single local coronavirus case in over 250 days, with the last case having been in April. One case every 250 days, 250,000 cases every day, same difference, right? 😉
Unfortunately Taiwan’s streak has come to an end, after a pilot tested positive for coronavirus, and ended up infecting others. This situation has also cost him his job.
EVA Air pilot tests positive for coronavirus
An ex-pat EVA Air Cargo captain from New Zealand recently tested positive for coronavirus, which is the 765th case that Taiwan has recorded. The man had worked a roundtrip flight from Taiwan to the United States from November 29 through December 4, 2020.
Upon returning to Taiwan he was supposed to quarantine at home for three days, which would have been from December 4-7, 2020. Then on December 12-15 he worked another trip.
On December 20 he tested positive for coronavirus. It’s believed (based on the people that he infected) that he got coronavirus on that first US trip in late November and early December, so it’s interesting that he tested positive a full 17 days after returning.
EVA Air pilot gets fired & fined
The Kiwi captain responsible for Taiwan’s new coronavirus cases has been fired and fined. The reason? Because he didn’t provide timely and comprehensive information during the contact tracing process following his infection:
- He claimed he didn’t remember his movements after his three day self-quarantine
- He failed to mention that he had been in close contact with a Taiwanese woman December 7-12, 2020, and she tested positive for coronavirus on December 22
- He didn’t properly report on the places he had traveled to or visited
- When he worked his second trip he didn’t properly report on his health condition, and he was coughing on the trip; his co-pilots asked him to put on a mask, but he didn’t, and he ended up infecting them with coronavirus as well
- It’s said that his lack of cooperation hampered authorities’ ability to take timely control measures, and that this increased the risk of the virus spreading to more people
- The places that the man visited have closed so that they can be thoroughly disinfected
EVA Air’s disciplinary committee met today and decided that the captain should lose his job for two reasons:
- Violating the company’s virus prevention rules
- Causing serious damage to the airline’s reputation and image
EVA Air is firing a cargo pilot who caused Taiwan’s first local coronavirus cases in over eight months. The issue isn’t that he got coronavirus as such, but rather that he failed to report where he had been for the purposes of contact tracing, didn’t follow mask protocols, and didn’t accurately report on his health condition, causing him to infect others.
You’d think someone with ties to New Zealand and Taiwan would know better, but it seems not… I can’t say EVA Air is out of line here.
What do you think — is it fair of EVA Air to fire a pilot over this incident?