Singapore sends back TK flight empty over coronavirus concern

- A Monitor Desk Report 05 Mar, 2020 | 1165 Views|-+
Dhaka: A Turkish Airlines flight was flown back to Istanbul with no passengers on board today on orders from Singapore authorities after a passenger who had arrived on the same plane on March 3 tested positive for coronavirus.

The infected passenger was a French national travelling from London to Singapore, Fahrettin Koca, Health Minister of Turkey said and the plane’s crew would be held in quarantine for 14 days as a precaution.

A Turkish aviation official said earlier that there were 143 passengers, three pilots and 10 crew members aboard the flight to Singapore.

Last month, Nigeria said its first case of the virus entered the country on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul, when a man travelling from Italy landed in Lagos.

Singapore’s CAAS aviation regulator said that the pilots and crew of flight TK54 that arrived on March 3 had been come into close contact with the passenger, but the aviation official said the crew tested negative for the virus in Singapore.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in contact with the Turkish Embassy, which has confirmed that the crew will be quarantined upon arrival at Istanbul,” CAAS said.

Singapore’s transport ministry said in a statement on its website that authorities had begun tracing passengers on flight TK54 that may have had contact with the infected person.

Singapore has had 112 confirmed cases of coronavirus, which started in China, but a large majority of the patients in the city-state have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

On the other hand, Turkey has had no reported cases of the virus.

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