An Air Transat plane in Canada. Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images
All passengers on board two Air Transat flights from Haiti to Montreal have potentially been exposed to COVID-19, the Toronto Sun reported.
Passengers seated in “all rows” have been notified by the Canadian government’s exposure tracking system that they need to monitor their symptoms.
The Canadian government announced on January 7 that a negative coronavirus test is required to fly. Haiti, where these passengers were traveling from, is one of the two territories exempt from this rule.
More than 70 other international flights to Canada have carried people infected with the coronavirus, according to the Toronto Sun.
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Two Air Transat flights had so many people on board infected with COVID-19 that all the passengers are now deemed to be at risk of catching the virus, the Toronto Sun reported.
Flights TS663 AND TS665 – both taking passengers from Haiti to Montreal – were identified by Health Canada as flights with several confirmed coronavirus cases, the paper said.
Now, passengers seated in “all rows” have been notified that they have potentially been exposed to the virus.
The Canadian government’s tracking system is used to notify passengers who have been potentially exposed to the virus. Usually, specific rows are identified and those seated there are advised to take the necessary precautions.
On this occasion, however, passengers from “all rows” – the entirety of two planes – have been advised to self-monitor their symptoms for 14 days and to self-isolate immediately if symptoms develop.
The number of people warned about the COVID-19 infection is not known. The Air Transat was flying wide-body Airbus A330s on the Haiti-Montreal route, with a capacity of up to 375 passengers, according to the Toronto Sun.
Read more: Virgin Galactic just revealed a new supersonic passenger jet planned with Rolls-Royce, which used to make Concorde jet engines.
According to the government guidelines, passengers are also advised to immediately contact public health authorities if they become unwell.
The news of these potential exposures follows a January 7 announcement by the Canadian government that requires all those boarding flights to Canada to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test.
Haiti, however, is an exception to the rule. Due to limited testing capacity, passengers flying to Canada from Haiti are not required to provide a negative result.
Since the negative test requirement was introduced, over 70 international flights that have landed in Canada have carried passengers infected with COVID-19, according to the Toronto Sun.
Yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that he hasn’t ruled out introducing an international travel ban.
The tougher restrictions would be a response to Canada’s recent surge in daily cases.
Cases per day in Canada. Worldometer
January has been the worst month on record for new COVID-19 cases in the country, according to Worldometer.
On Saturday, Worldometer data shows that Canada recorded 6,816 new cases.
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