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TB patients to be banned from international flights

TB patients to be banned from international flights

Seeking to contain the spread of tuberculosis, the Center for Disease Control said Friday patients with the communicable disease will be banned from international fights longer than eight hours, starting in September.
CDC official Steve Kuo told an afternoon news conference his agency has instructed health authorities on all levels to carry out notification and other procedures by July so that the travel ban may take effect in September.
Dubbed the top infectious killer in Taiwan, TB accounts for nearly 1,000 deaths a year and the number of new cases hit 15,000 or 16,000 each year, according to CDC data.
Kuo said it is necessary to ban active TB patients from long-haul international flights as the disease, like the common cold, spreads though the air. Only people who are sick with TB in their lungs are infectious.
When infectious people cough, talk or spit, they propel TB germs, known as bacilli into the air. A person needs only to inhale a small number of bacilli to be infected.
The travel ban will not apply to domestic travel or international flights shorter than eight hours.
Kuo said that the restriction is intended to cut the number of TB cases in Taiwan by half in 10 years, adding that under the rules governing infectious diseases, the ban will not be deemed as violations of human rights.
Once the policy is promulgated, Kuo said doctors should give patients diagonosed of active TB a written note on the travel ban. Patients seeking to violate the travel ban will be fined up to NT$150,000 and prevented from boarding planes.


Updated : 2021-04-18 08:00 GMT+08:00