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Taiwan to quarantine all pilots of China Airlines amid COVID-19 outbreak

Christian Fernsby |
Taiwan will quarantine all pilots for China Airlines for 14 days as it tries to stop an outbreak of COVID-19 among its crew, the health minister said on Monday.

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While Taiwan has generally kept the pandemic well under control due to early prevention with only sporadic domestic cases, since last month it has been dealing with an outbreak linked to China Airlines pilots and an airport hotel where many of them stayed.

There have been 35 confirmed infections so far in the outbreak.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told reporters the only way to break what they believe is a chain of transmission at the carrier is to quarantine all China Airlines pilots currently in Taiwan, and send into quarantine those who return to Taiwan.

"This will have a big impact on China Airlines, on its passenger and freighter flights, and for the crew too. But for the safety of the whole community we cannot but make this decision," he said.

The move effectively amounted to a 14-day grounding for the airline, Mr Chen added, and the pilots will only be allowed out of quarantine once they have tested negative.

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