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A Member of Cabin Crew at Korean Air has Tested Positive for COVID-19, CDC Advises Against Non-Essential Travel to South Korea

A Member of Cabin Crew at Korean Air has Tested Positive for COVID-19, CDC Advises Against Non-Essential Travel to South Korea

a plane flying in the sky

A member of cabin crew for Korean Air is one of 60 new South Korean patients who tested positive for the COVID-19 Coronavirus according to health officials in the country on Tuesday morning. Nearly 900 people have now been diagnosed with the novel Coronavirus in South Korea, with 10 deaths so far recorded.

Further details about the cabin crew member’s condition not immediately available but the news prompted Korean Air to shut down an administrative building near Incheon International Airport where cabin crew and pilots hold pre-flight briefings.

a group of women in traditional dresses
Seoul, South Korea. Photo Credit: Photo by Kseniya Petukhova on Unsplash

South Korean media report that the flight attendant returned from a trip to Los Angeles between the 19th and 20th February and was at that point tested for the virus. It’s also believed the crew member had recently been on a religious pilgrimage to Israel and was part of a Korean tour group infected with the virus

Korean Air is now urgently trying to trace colleagues and passengers who would have been in close contact with the sick crew member during the last 14-days – the incubation of the COVID-19 virus.

As fears grow about the spread of the novel Coronavirus outbreak in South Korea, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised against all non-essential travel to the entire country.

The current outbreak has been largely confined to the South East of the country with the largest cluster located in Daegu. However, there are growing fears that the outbreak may spread to Seoul. A number of countries have already imposed travel restrictions on visitors from South Korea.

On Saturday night, Israeli officials stopped a group of over 100 South Korean tourists from disembarking a Korean Air aircraft at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. A small number of Israelies were taken away in ambulances before the Boeing 777 was sent straight back to Seoul.

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