11th March 2020 – (Hong Kong) Sources confirmed that a 22-year-old Cathay Pacific air stewardess has been diagnosed positive with COVID-19 in a preliminary test. She is currently being treated at Prince of Wales Hospital. The patient recently flew to Madrid, Spain. A mainland Chinese passenger who was on the same flight was subsequently confirmed with COVID-19.
The Centre for Health Protection said last night (10th) that it is also tracking for confirmed cases outside Hong Kong. The case involved a 19-year-old female patient diagnosed in Dongguan, Guangdong. She arrived in Hong Kong on 8th March by Cathay Pacific CX320 (economy class) from Madrid, Spain. According to the Cathay Pacific website, flight CX320 from Madrid to Hong Kong takes 12 hours and 35 minutes. A Cathay Pacific employee revealed that the flight attendant, a new recruit who was tested positive recently arrived in Madrid and went out. She started to develop a cough. While working on the flight, the air stewardess wore a mask.
Cathay Pacific spokesperson responded today to the incident and said that there were 13 flight attendants who worked on the flight from Madrid. The flight attendants of CX320 reportedly learned of the incident only after reading the news today. They have since contacted the Health Department and Cathay Pacific.
The Department of Health will conduct tracking and preliminary testing for employees. Cathay Pacific was asked to increase the number of masks per flight so that employees can change them every 4 hours. At present, flight attendants of each flight have been issued only one or two masks. They also requested Cathay Pacific to expedite the reporting of infections. Cathay Pacific said that the infected cabin attendant is now receiving appropriate medical treatment. Cathay Pacific is actively assisting the flight crew on the flight and advises them to stay at home, check their temperature regularly and monitor for signs of illness before further notification from the CHP. All relevant cabin attendants and colleagues did not work on any flight after the CX320 flight arrived in Hong Kong on March 7. The passenger aircraft has been thoroughly disinfected according to the strict standards of the Hong Kong Port Health Division and Cathay Pacific Group.
Meanwhile, another 31-year-old woman who took a Cathay Pacific flight no.CX250 from London to Hong Kong on 28th February was diagnosed positive with COVID-19 in a preliminary test. Earlier, a confirmed case involving a male patient was reported by the Guangdong Health Commission on the flight/ The male patient arrived in Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific flight CX250 on 28th February. He then took the ferry operated by Pearl River Shipping to Shenzhen Shekou on the same day. He was tested positive for COVID-19 the next day.