PIA pilot, flight attendant test positive for Covid-19

Updated 13 Apr 2020

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The pilot has been taken to a quarantine centre while the flight attendant was placed in isolation at the hotel. — AFP/File
The pilot has been taken to a quarantine centre while the flight attendant was placed in isolation at the hotel. — AFP/File

RAWALPINDI: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilot and flight attendant have tested positive for Covid-19 in isolation at a quarantine facility setup in a hotel in Islamabad.

The pilot has been taken to a quarantine centre while the flight attendant was placed in isolation at the hotel.

PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez said that of 14 PIA crew members, the swab tests of five have come back positiveand nine have tested negative and been allowed to go home.

Mr Hafeez said that a pilot and flight attendant who returned from Canada a day prior were taken to a quarantine centre and kept in isolation, respectively, in Islamabad.

The two crew members were on board a special passenger flight from Karachi to Toronto on April 2 and returned to Islamabad on April 8.

They were taken to a quarantine facility established in a hotel in Islamabad with all the other crew members, where they both tested positive for Covid-19.

Mr Hafeez said the first PIA crew member to test positive for the disease was a flightpurseron March 20, who was taken to the Benazir Bhutto Hospital and discharged after 22 days.

Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (Palpa) claimed on Twitter that the pilot who tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday was “taken by police as being arrested for a crime”.

However, the PIA spokesperson said that according to the standard operating procedure, whenever a crew member is detected with symptoms, or needs to be quarantined or placed in isolation, an ambulance is dispatched with a health crew and police to escort.

He said a similar SOP was adopted with another crew member tested positive in Rawalpindi; an ambulance with a health crew was sent to place him in isolation at home in Rawalpindi on Sunday.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2020