All 193 passengers and crew members, who were onboard a flight from the Greek island of Zante to Cardiff, Wales last week, have been instructed to quarantine after seven passengers tested positive for Covid-19. Health officials have said the cases were reported from three different parties on the flight, BBC reported.
Public Health Wales (PHW), the country’s health agency, has begun contacting everyone who travelled on the TUI Airways flight on Tuesday. In a statement, the health body urged all passengers and crew members to immediately get themselves tested if they begin showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus.
“Cardiff and Vale test, trace, protect and Public Health Wales have identified at least seven confirmed cases of Covid-19 from three different parties who were infectious on Tui flight 6215 from Zante to Cardiff on 25 August,” Incident Director for the outbreak response at PHW Dr Giri Shankar said in a statement, BBC reported.
“As a result, we are advising that all passengers on this flight are considered close contacts and must self-isolate,” he added. “These passengers will be contacted shortly, but meanwhile, they must self-isolate at home as they may become infectious, even without developing symptoms.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for TUI airlines has said that the cases emerged despite the fact that all Covid protocols were observed during the duration of the flight. “The safety and well-being of passengers and crew is our highest priority and we operate in line with EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) guidelines,” the spokesperson said, according to a BBC report.
Stephanie Whitfield, a Cardiff resident who travelled to Wales in the TUI plane, disagreed. She told BBC that she was not surprised by the news of cases onboard the flight as she felt the airline had not taken adequate precautions to prevent the spread of the illness.
“This flight was a debacle. The chap next to me had his mask around his neck. Not only did the airline not pull him up on it, they gave him a free drink when he said he knew a member of the crew,” Whitfield said. “As soon as the flight landed, a load of people took their masks off immediately. The flight was full of selfish ‘covidiots’ and an inept crew who couldn’t care less.”
Earlier this week, health officials in the United Kingdom announced that upto 30 young people from the city of Plymouth could have contracted Covid-19 after returning from a holiday in Zante.