TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — EVA Air decided on Wednesday (Dec. 23) to terminate the employment of a New Zealander pilot deemed responsible for causing Taiwan’s first domestic coronavirus transmission in eight months.
The infection of a local woman by the pilot, announced Tuesday (Dec. 22), sparked widespread consternation in the country, which has earned global praise for its handling of the pandemic. Officials are consequently reappraising the safety of Christmas and New Year events, and department stores the man visited during his stay have closed early for thorough disinfection.
An EVA Air disciplinary committee met Wednesday and ruled the cargo pilot should lose his job, as he had clearly violated the company’s own virus prevention rules and caused serious damage to the airline’s reputation and image, CNA reported.
The pilot had lied about his health to the airline and the authorities and also refused to provide all the necessary details about his travel history in Taiwan. He did not mention that he spent time in the company of the woman he infected, and he did not say which locations he had visited.