A SpiceJet pilot tested positive for coronavirus, the low-cost airline said in a statement on Sunday. The pilot, a First Officer, did not fly any international flight in March. The last domestic flight he operated was on March 21 from Chennai to Delhi. He has been in self-quarantine at his residence.
As a precautionary measure, all crew and staff who had been in direct contact with him have been asked to self-quarantine by staying at home for the next 14 days.
“The safety of our passengers and employees is our topmost priority. We have been diligently following the guidelines issued by the WHO and the Government of India. All our aircraft are being disinfected thoroughly since the end of January and the disinfectants used are as per the WHO standards,” a SpiceJet spokesperson said. The company also said the pilot is being provided with appropriate medical care.
India is currently under a 21-day lockdown till April 14 to stop the spread of the COVID-19, and consequently, all international and domestic flights have been suspended for this period.
Across India, over 900 have contracted COVID-19 infection so far, at least 19 have died. The highly contagious disease has infected over half a million across the world, killed more than 20,000.
Technically called the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 or SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus causes the COVID-19 disease, which originated in China’s Wuhan city. It spreads fast in crowded places and social distancing is an effective way to control the pandemic, according to experts.