Air New Zealand said on Wednesday that a passenger who tested positive with the coronavirus (Covid-19) travelled on its services.
According to The New Zealand Herald, the passenger is a woman in her 30s who is now self-isolating at home. Her Covid-19 diagnosis was confirmed on Tuesday night and announced publicly on Wednesday.
The New Zealand Herald reported that she first travelled from Milan to Singapore, then flew with Air New Zealand from Singapore to Auckland on flight NZ283 on February 25, then flew from Auckland to Palmerston North on flight NZ5103 on March 2, returning to Auckland on NZ8114 the same day.
The airline said it is working closely with New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and government agencies to identify and contact customers who travelled on the Singapore service and the two regional flights.
Air New Zealand’s chief medical officer Dr. Ben Johnston said Air New Zealand “has anticipated and planned for this scenario”, and has a “robust process in play” to manage its response.
“The health and safety of passengers and crew is Air New Zealand’s top priority and our aircraft already undergo a thorough cleaning process, which includes cleaning surfaces such as tray tables and inflight entertainment screens with a disinfectant that kills viruses,” Johnston said.
“We also remove all headsets, headrest covers, pillow covers, and blankets after every international flight. Domestic and regional services surfaces and bathrooms are wiped with disinfectant spray. The three aircraft this customer flew on will now also undergo a deep clean,” he added.
New Zealand has four confirmed cases as of writing this story, according to the South China Morning Post.
A number of airlines are stepping up precautionary measures in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that continues to spread around the world. Here are the precautionary measures some airlines are taking: