Hangzhou flight, passenger infected, all passengers isolated

Source: Asiaone, The strait

 A patient undergoes blood test at Tongji hospital in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province. [Photo by Tao Jidong/chinadaily.com.cn]

A passenger from a flight by Singapore Airlines budget arm Scoot that departed from Singapore to China on Friday (Jan 24) has been taken for further tests, in a bid by authorities to prevent the further spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.

In a statement on Saturday, Scoot said that a passenger on flight TR 188 had to be sent for further blood tests after the flight landed in Hangzhou, China on Friday.

All 314 passengers on the flight have been isolated at the airport until the blood test results are released. It is not known how many Singaporeans were on the flight.

Upon landing at Hangzhou International Airport, all passengers on the flight had to undergo enhanced health screening, said Scoot, adding that passengers sent for blood tests had to go for additional screening as well.

All passengers and crew of TR188 24 January 2020 have been isolated at the airport until the blood test results are out, said a Scoot spokesman.

In its statement on Saturday, Scoot said that it wanted to clarify the online conversation about flight TR188. Due to the temporary suspension of all public transport networks in Chinas Hubei province, the carrier cancelled all flights between Singapore and Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, from Jan 23 to Feb 2.

Those who had booked these cancelled flights were given three options: fly to Wuhan on a later date, re-route their flight to other destinations within China, Macau or Hong Kong, or get a full refund. 

Out of the 314 passengers on flight TR188, about 110 were passengers who had originally planned to fly to Wuhan, but chose the option of re-routing their flight to Hangzhou. 

Upon landing, these 110 passengers had to undergo enhanced health screening at Hangzhou International Airport, and from that pool, one had to be sent for further blood tests, said the Scoot spokesman.

While the crew of flight TR188 had to be isolated, the plane made a return trip back to Singapore after it was disinfected, added the spokesman.

Due to this, the returning flight TR189 was delayed by more than six hours. It was scheduled to depart Hangzhou at 11.15pm on Friday but only took off at 5.30am on Saturday. 

TR189 customers were provided with refreshments during the delay, said the Scoot spokesman. There are disinfectants, hand sanitisers and masks available on all Scoot flights for use by passengers and crew if required.

Separately on Saturday, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Facebook that it was aware of rumours circulating online that more than 100 arriving travellers from Wuhan were denied entry into Singapore.

ICA would like to clarify that this is untrue and the alleged incident did not take place, said the authority, adding that members of the public should not speculate or spread unfounded rumours. 

It also advised the public to visit the Health Ministrys website for updates on the Wuhan coronavirus situation.

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