**Update: 06/23/20 @ 22:05 UTC – A PIA spokesperson shared further information about the airline’s procedures; details below.**
16 passengers flying into Copenhagen Airport on a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) service were found to be infected with COVID-19. The flight happened on June 6th and had arrived from Islamabad International Airport.
It had already spread
Altogether, flight number PK8771 there were 318 passengers on board. According to the Danish Patient Safety Agency, yesterday, a total of 18 people we’re identified to have an infection in relation to the trip. For Denmark, this figure is a lot as it is currently reporting fewer than 50 cases a day.
Of the 18 infected, 16 were on board the aircraft, while two people were in close contact with the passengers but were not on board. Moreover, four people are believed to have been contagious at the time they were on board the aircraft. However, the numbers are continuing to rise with more information coming through.
More proactivity needed
The Danish Patient Safety Board has contacted all relevant persons. However, the authority states that it can’t rule out that there are several cases of infection related to air travel.
Anette Lykke Petri, the chief medical officer and chief executive officer of the Danish Patient Safety Authority, spoke about how crucial it is to follow best practices in the current climate.
According to the document shared by the authority, Petri said the below:
“The case clearly illustrates that it is incredibly important that we continue to look after ourselves and each other by following the recommendations to keep distance, have good hygiene and let us test.”
What to do now
If a traveler suspects that they have an infection, they should isolate and book a time for a test or contact a doctor. However, it is important that they do not see a doctor without prior notice. Nonetheless, Danish authorities strongly call for incoming passengers to isolate for 14 days.
Altogether, this case highlights the need for consistent hygiene measures in place across the nations, especially when it comes to travel. Authorities, airports, and airlines are all introducing different policies when it comes to tackling the virus. Therefore, incidents such as this month’s are likely to repeat.
Simple Flying reached out to Pakistan International Airlines for comment. According to a spokesperson, best practices are being adopted before and after the check-in process, including but not limited to maintaining social distancing, a thorough disinfection of the planes upon each arrival, cleaning of cabin air filters, and ensuring the mandatory wearing of masks.
The representative added that the procedures adopted by all the airlines in line with WHO and IATA standards will nonetheless minimize the chances of getting the virus transmitted during flight.
What are your thoughts about these reports from Copenhagen Airport? Can there be more initiatives to prevent events like this from occurring over the next few months? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.