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50 Qantas and Jetstar Staff Have Now Tested Positive for COVID-19 According to Airline’s Chief Medical Officer

50 Qantas and Jetstar Staff Have Now Tested Positive for COVID-19 According to Airline’s Chief Medical Officer

Qantas Finds Cracks in Three Boeing 737-800 Aircraft Following Urgent FAA Airworthiness Directive

In a leaked internal memo, Qantas Group chief medical officer Russell Brown told staff that around 50 of their colleagues had already tested positive for COVID-19 despite many of them taking precautions to protect themselves. Brown said most of the positive cases had involved staff who had travelled overseas, including those who went on holiday, as well as cabin crew and pilots who caught the Coronavirus on international layovers.

“They are wearing masks when flying and being careful, and we’re still seeing these cases,” Brown reportedly said during a live Question and Answer webinar held with staffers.

Photo Credit: Qantas

“When you’re dealing with a community that has more spread, the risk goes up, and we have to start thinking about what’s going on here,” he continued. Qantas now permits cabin crew and other staff to wear face masks and gloves and will shortly suspend most international flights.

The Qantas Group will, however, continue to operate repatriation flights on behalf of the Australian federal government to bring home thousands of Australian’s currently stuck overseas. Earlier this week, the Department of Foreign Affairs revealed that 16,000 Australian’s had embarked on international travel despite a Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory being in place.

Around 100 Australian citizens who have returned to the country and spending 14-days in quarantine at an airport hotel are now showing symptoms of COVID-19 and are due to be tested for the virus.

At least 12 Qantas baggage handlers have contracted COVID-19 but according to Brown, the other cases span a number of workgroups at both Qantas and Jetstar.

“We have put in place increased measures to protect our people while they are at work and our customers including enhanced cleaning at airports and on aircraft and providing necessary safety equipment,” the airline said in a statement posted by ABC News.

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