Airline fires pilot blamed for Taiwan’s first Covid case in months

 A New Zealand pilot blamed for causing Taiwan’s first domestic coronavirus transmission in months, has been fired by the island’s Eva Air.

On Tuesday, a contact of the pilot tested positive, ending Taiwan’s 253-day streak without a local case.

Some public Christmas activities have since been suspended and the government has suggested people should stay at home during New Year’s Eve.

Overall, Taiwan has recorded only 777 infections and seven deaths.

The pilot is thought to have contracted the coronavirus earlier in December but remained asymptomatic.

Pilots returning to the island after a flight are meant to remain in quarantine for three days but are not tested unless they show symptoms.

Unaware that he carried the virus, he continued to fly and was reportedly coughing on a flight to Taiwan from the US.

He tested positive on 20 December.

Two days later, Taiwan discovered its first domestic infection in months. Authorities traced back that the infected woman had been in contact with the pilot.

Authorities fined the man 300,000 Taiwanese dollars ($10,600, £7,900) for failing to properly declare contacts and activities to officials.

Eva Air said the pilot was fired for violating operational principles, including his failure to wear a mask in the cockpit.


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