Passengers on a Jetstar flight from Melbourne to Hobart were left sitting on a tarmac for more than two hours after a man on the plane became ill, raising concerns he may have coronavirus.
- Jetstar passengers were advised they would have to wait to disembark due to a passenger falling ill
- The captain informed travellers the passenger had a possible case of coronavirus
- Tasmania’s director of public health Mark Veitch said the case was “not strongly suspected”
The flight from Melbourne arrived at the Hobart Airport about 2:35pm (AEDT), when passengers were advised they would have to wait to disembark due to a passenger falling ill.
Just before 5:00pm, the captain informed travellers the passenger had a possible case of coronavirus.
“[We had a] passenger from China, who after take-off advised cabin crew that he was not feeling well,” the captain said.
“Now with the coronavirus going on at the moment, these issues are quite sensitive.”
He said the passengers would be handed a letter from the Health Department as they disembark the plane and their details would be collected.
“There is a very low risk of infection,” the captain said.
In a statement, Tasmania’s director of public health Mark Veitch said the case was “not strongly suspected”.
“While the man has recently travelled in China, at this stage it is understood he was not in Wuhan or the wider Hubei Province where the disease outbreak is centred,” the statement read.
“He will be assessed appropriately at the Royal Hobart Hospital.
“I apologise to the passengers for the delay of their disembarkation, but we are conscious of the need to take necessary and appropriate precautions given the current situation.”
A Jetstar spokesperson confirmed the passenger reported feeling unwell towards the end of the flight.
“As a precaution … the captain asked [the] ambulance to meet the aircraft on arrival and attend to the passenger,” they said.
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