People in Taiwan are pissed, and rightfully so. A selfish idiot from New Zealand got loose in the country, violating quarantine and spreading COVID-19. Likely, intentionally. I want to know whether he has posted any “corona is a myth” garbage on social media.
The text is changed not because of the griping in the comments, but because a detail about the pilot came to light.
On Sunday, the government announced that a NZ cargo pilot
(hereafter referred to as Plague Rat) violated quarantine on December 8, travelling around Taiwan, shopping in Costco and elsewhere, visiting tourist sites. The scumbag claimed he “didn’t keep track of where he went” but failed to tell the CDC and CECC that he was accompanied by two other pilots, one Taiwanese and one Japanese. His movements had to be tracked by surveillance camera and other means, and track down everyone he was potentially in contact with.
A woman has since tested positive, the first local transmission since April 12. Potentially others may carry it as well.
Two colleagues of a Taiwanese pilot who tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday and an Indonesian man were the three new COVID-19 cases reported in Taiwan on Sunday, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The new cases brought the total number in the country to 766, CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said at a press conference.
The two colleagues of the Taiwanese pilot are a man from New Zealand in his 60s and a Japanese man in his 20s, both of whom are also pilots, Chuang said.
The three operated a cargo flight to the United States on Dec. 12, and returned to Taiwan on Dec. 16. That same day, the Taiwanese began to have a cough, runny nose, and a fever, and she was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 on Friday.
The New Zealander and Japanese were thus tested for COVID-19 on Friday, and their results came back positive on Sunday, Chuang said.
According to Chuang, the New Zealander flew to Manila on a same-day return flight on Nov. 28, then flew to the U.S. on Nov. 29 and returned to Taiwan on Dec. 4.
[. . .]
The CECC is still tracking down possible contacts related to the airplane cluster, as the New Zealand man was active outside of his residence in northern Taiwan from Dec. 8 to 11 after completing his quarantine requirement. The man told CECC personnel that he did not keep track of where he went, so the CECC is still trying to determine the places he visited during that time, Chuang said.
The government has since levied a fine of NT$300,000, the heaviest yet related to COVID-19. But I say that is still insufficient.
If a passenger’s behaviour forces a plane to land, they are often required to reimburse the airline, along with other fines and legal consequences. The same should be done here, since his actions have forced multiple stores to close temporarily or indefinitely while their staff are checked and the buildings are disinfected, and the cost for the government to track and test.
An EVA Airways pilot from New Zealand, who was recently diagnosed with COVID-19, was fined NT$300,000 (US$10,649) Tuesday for failing to provide comprehensive information during the contact tracing process by Taiwan authorities.
The Department of Public Health in Taoyuan, the city where the pilot lives, said he had violated the Communicable Disease Control Act, after he tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 20.
When the pilot was asked to list the places he had visited and the people with whom he had come into contact since his most recent entry into Taiwan on Dec. 4, he “failed to provide detailed and accurate information,” the department said in a statement.
Instead, he said he could not remember his movements after his three-day home quarantine period, which is the standard time for flight crews in Taiwan, and he did not mention that he had been in close contact with a Taiwanese woman Dec. 7-12, the department said.
Because of his selfishness and stupidity, Taiwan has now had its first local transmission in 254 days. Time will tell if others were also infected. Thankfully, Taiwanese people and foreign residents have, with a few exceptions, been responsible and responsive to the government’s rules, instructions and notices. There have been a few vocal anti-vaxxer and anti-mask pinheads, but they have not travelled. With only special exemptions like pilots, diplomatic or other types, leaving Taiwan is probably a one way trip. Residents who leave may not be able to return.
Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Tuesday (Dec. 22) announced its first local case of the Wuhan coronavirus, breaking one of the longest streaks in the world without a domestic case at 254 days.
During a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, health minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced Taiwan’s first confirmed local case of COVID-19 since April 12. Chen said the local infection, Case No. 771, is a woman in her 30s who came in close contact with Case No. 765, the New Zealander pilot who had been associated with a cluster infection among pilots.
[. . .]
The health department arranged for her to undergo a test for the coronavirus that day, and she tested positive on Dec. 22.
Thus far, the government hasn’t placed any new restrictions on cargo pilots entering or returning, but they should. The crew of cargo ships coming into Taiwan’s ports are not allowed to leave their vessels. They have to remain on board while loading and unloading. The same should be done with foreign pilots, restricting them to a fixed location at the Taoyuan International Airport and not allowed into Taiwan.
I hope the scumbag is given a ten year exclusion, not allowed to enter until 2030. On top of being fired from EVA Airlines (a Taiwanese carrier).
Infected New Zealand pilot shopped at Sogo in Taipei and Costco Taoyuan
After news broke of Taiwan’s first domestic case of Wuhan coronavirus in eight months on Tuesday (Dec. 22), the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) listed the locales where a New Zeland cargo pilot had traveled when officials believe he was infectious.
[. . .]
During questioning with the CECC, the New Zealander claimed that he could not recall where he had gone and “did not have the habit of recording where he had traveled and when.” In order to clarify contacts of the New Zealander between Dec. 8 and 12, a detailed investigation of the man’s activity history was carried out by the health and police departments, and the inquest revealed that he had traveled to multiple public locations during the aforementioned period.
As can be seen in the chart below, he went to the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Tienmu Store in Taipei between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 8, the Far Eastern Sogo Tianmu Store in Taipei between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 10, and the Costco Nankan Store in Taoyuan City between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.
The CECC reminds those who were at any of these places during the time period listed above to please carefully monitor their health. If symptoms appear before Dec. 25, they should wear a mask, go to the nearest designated community testing center, and undergo a coronavirus test if a doctor deems it necessary.
In response to the news, Sogo Tienmu announced that it will be closing at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and will carry out extensive disinfection. All Tienmu store counter staff will begin self-health monitoring.
I was going to post this a few hours ago, but I couldn’t make myself cut out the profanities until now.
Taiwan’s CDC, CECC and government have done an amazing job at keeping COVID-19 under control and out of the country. But all it takes to ruin it is one selfish individual.