Tigerair Taiwan cabin crew to be fined for negligence

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Tigerair Taiwan crew to be fined over measles outbreak. (By Central News Agency)

Kaohsiung (CNA) - Two cabin crew members of Tigerair Taiwan who worked on flights while infected with measles are being fined by Kaohsiung City's Department of Health for violating the Communicable Disease Control Act, resulting in a cluster infection of cases for the airline.

On March 17, a 30-year old Taiwanese man who contracted measles in Thailand and would become Taiwan's first case of imported measles of the year, took a Tigerair Taiwan flight to Japan, during which he infected two cabin crew members with the virus.

When the Centers for Disease Control announced that the man was infected with measles on March 29, Tigerair Taiwan sent an internal memo to all its staff to report any symptoms and their travel history to the company.

The two cabin crew members -- a 34-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman -- however, continued to work on flights until they fell seriously ill and were diagnosed with measles in early April, which, according to the health department, violates the principle of self-management and the Communicable Disease Control Act.

Their decision to work put them in contact with residents of Kaohsiung during their window of infection, which is four days before and after the onset of a fever, and is why the southern city is currently monitoring thousands of people in quarantine.

They will be fined anywhere between NT$3,000 (US$100) to NT$15,000.

Kaohsiung's Department of Health is also looking into whether the budget carrier handled the situation appropriately in accordance with the same act. If it is found that Tigerair Taiwan is at fault, it will also be fined.

It has since been confirmed that six crew members of Tigerair Taiwan have contracted measles. (By Chen Ja-fo and Kuan-lin Liu)