Coronavirus: Frenchman had signs of illness while flying to Singapore

His case first surfaced on Wednesday night when the Ministry of Transport said a passenger who arrived in Singapore from Istanbul on a Turkish Airlines flight the day before had tested positive for the virus.
His case first surfaced on Wednesday night when the Ministry of Transport said a passenger who arrived in Singapore from Istanbul on a Turkish Airlines flight the day before had tested positive for the virus.PHOTO: REUTERS

A 42-year-old French national, one of five new coronavirus cases confirmed in Singapore yesterday, reported symptoms while on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul on Tuesday.

The next day, the Singapore work pass holder went to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) and tested positive for Covid-19.

He has no recent travel history to countries and regions badly affected by the coronavirus, but had been in France, Portugal and Britain from Feb 8 until his flight to return here, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said yesterday.

The man who lives in the Mount Sophia area is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID. Before that, he had visited Gleneagles Hospital for an unrelated matter.

His case first surfaced on Wednesday night when the Ministry of Transport said a passenger who arrived in Singapore from Istanbul on a Turkish Airlines flight the day before had tested positive for the virus.

Contact tracing had begun for passengers on Flight TK54 who may have had contact with the person while he was infectious, MOH said.

As a result, the plane and its crew, which were scheduled to depart for Istanbul at 11.35pm on Wednesday, were instead held at Changi Airport. The aircraft left a few hours later at 2.08am, but without any passengers. ST understands they were put on other flights.

On board were just three pilots and 11 crew. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in contact with the Turkish Embassy, which has confirmed that the crew will be quarantined upon arrival at Istanbul.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2020, with the headline 'Frenchman had signs of illness while flying to S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe