SINGAPORE: Passengers and crew on a Scoot flight from Singapore were “isolated” following an enhanced health screening upon their arrival at Hangzhou airport on Friday (Jan 24), the airline said in a statement.
The move to isolate those on board flight TR188 came after one of the 314 passengers had to undergo further blood tests following a health screening at the airport, a precautionary measure against further spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
The airline said 110 of the passengers had been originally booked on flights to Wuhan, where the virus originated.
The airline said it released the statement as a clarification to “online conversation” on flight TR188, after posts were circulating in which netizens were upset at why Wuhan residents were allowed to board a flight to Hangzhou.
“Due to the temporary suspension of all public transportation networks in China's Hubei province, Scoot cancelled flights between Singapore and Wuhan from Jan 23, 2020 to Feb 2, 2020,” said the airline.
“Passengers on these flights, many of whom are of Chinese nationality seeking to return home for the Lunar New Year, were offered the option of either a full refund by mode of payment or to re-route their flight to other destinations within mainland China, Macau or Hongkong, operated by Scoot, to a later travel date.
“Scoot flight TR188 on Jan 24, 2020 carried a group of about 110 such passengers who had opted to return to mainland China via another Scoot destinations – in this case Hangzhou.”
The 110 passengers were put through additional screening at Hangzhou airport. One passenger required further blood tests.
The crew and passengers of flight TR188 are now under isolation, pending results of the blood tests.
The return flight to Singapore TR189 from Hangzhou was delayed for nearly six hours and left after the aircraft was disinfected.
In a new statement on Saturday evening, Scoot said it was "making arrangements to mount a flight to Hangzhou" to bring nine Singaporeans and 11 members of the flight and cabin crew back to Singapore.
"Scoot is working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, the Changi Airport Group and the relevant authorities on the arrangements."
Singapore’s Healthy Ministry on Friday announced two more new cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, bringing the total number of infected to three.
On Saturday, authorities in China announced the number of cases had surged to nearly 1,300 - the majority of which were in Hubei.
Health officials in the province also revealed that 15 new deaths took place in Wuhan, bringing the total number of fatalities to 41 since the outbreak began.