EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) yesterday dismissed a New Zealand pilot — national COVID-19 infection case No. 765 — as he failed to comply with the airline’s anti-virus measures and did not fully report his contact and activity history, it said in a statement.
EVA Air said that yesterday, its discipline committee teleconferenced with the man, who is in his 60s and hospitalized for treatment.
On Friday last week, the airline asked the pilot whether he had complied with its anti-virus measures, such as wearing a mask during a Dec. 12 flight to the US, after a Taiwanese in her 30s, a copilot on the flight, said that she had contracted COVID-19 and that the pilot had not worn a mask.
Photo courtesy of EVA Airways Corp
The man at the time refuted the accusation, EVA Air said.
However, a Japanese copilot on the flight, who also contracted the disease, later told the airline that the female pilot had reminded the New Zealander to wear a mask during the flight, EVA Air said.
As the evidence indicates that the pilot breached the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法) and the Labor Standards Act (勞基法), EVA Air said that it immediately terminated his contract.
The pilot seriously damaged the airline’s reputation and negatively affected its operations, while the government is planning to tighten regulations for airlines and punish those with employees who poorly comply with COVID-19 measures, it added.
“While it might be understandable that people sometimes forget to wear a mask, the pilot kept lying, which reduced our trust in him,” an EVA official said by telephone.
Before the incident, it fired four flight attendants and two pilots due to their failure to comply with ant-virus measures, but such employees are in the minority, EVA Air said.
EVA Airways shares yesterday fell 0.76 percent to NT$13.05 in Taipei trading.
The New Zealander said that he was unable to recall where he had been during his rest days from Dec. 8 to Dec. 12, but a police investigation found that case No. 771 had close contact with him during that period, so she was tested on Monday and confirmed positive yesterday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said on Tuesday.
The New Zealander had visited Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store’s Tianmu (天母) branch in Taipei between 11:30am and 12:30pm on Dec. 8, Far Eastern SOGO Department Store’s Tianmu branch between 6:30pm and 7:30pm on Dec. 10, and Costco Wholesale Store’s Nankan (南崁) branch in Taoyuan between 11am and 12pm on Dec. 11, the center said.
As the New Zealander failed to honestly report his contact and activity history, including not even mentioning having close contact with case No. 771, which is a breach of the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法), he could be fined NT$60,000 to NT$300,000, the center said.
The US Department of State yesterday criticized Beijing over its misrepresentation of the US’ “one China” policy in the latest diplomatic salvo between the two countries over a bid by Taiwan to regain its observer status at the World Health Assembly, the decisionmaking body of the WHO. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to publicly misrepresent U.S. policy,” Department of State spokesman Ned Price wrote on Twitter. “The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’ — we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiques, and
FATES LINKED: The US president said that sanctions on Russia over Ukraine must exact a ‘long-term price,’ because otherwise ‘what signal does that send to China?’ US President Joe Biden yesterday vowed that US forces would defend Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese attack in his strongest statement to date on the issue. Beijing is already “flirting with danger,” Biden said following talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, in which the pair agreed to monitor Chinese naval activity and joint Chinese-Russian exercises. Asked if Washington was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, he replied: “Yes.” “That’s the commitment we made,” Biden said. “We agreed with the ‘one China’ policy, we signed on to it ... but the idea that it can be
‘TOO RESTRICTIVE’: Ending US sales of weapons that do not fall under the category of ‘asymmetric’ would hamper Taiwan’s defense against China, two business groups said Taiwan’s weapons procurement decisions are made based on its needs, and are not influenced by individual arms dealers, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday after two US business groups questioned a US official’s comment on arms sales to Taiwan. US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security Mira Resnick told the business groups via video link on Saturday that Washington would adjust the types of weapons sold to Taiwan and end “most arms sales to Taiwan that do not fall under the category of ‘asymmetric.’” The American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan and the US-Taiwan Business Council on Monday
Local COVID-19 cases are expected to continue rising in the upcoming week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported a record-high 85,310 new domestic cases and 41 deaths. Daily case numbers had remained in the 60,000s for the past six days before surging about 30 percent yesterday, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, said the number of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted on Tuesday also marked a record-high of 112,915, with a