Cathay Pacific revealed on Saturday that more than 3,200 pilots and cabin crew have undergone either mandatory or voluntary COVID-19 testing since April and not a single one has so far back come back positive for the novel Coronavirus. The embattled Hong Kong-based airline said it felt compelled to react to local media reports that have suggested a resurgence of COVID-19 in the territory could be linked to air and maritime crew who are exempted from a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
After successfully containing the threat of the novel Coronavirus for several months, Hong Kong has reported record daily case numbers over the last few days. On Friday, 123 new cases were reported by Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection, following a 118 case increase on Thursday. On Saturday, Hong Kong recorded its seventeenth death linked to COVID-19.
While returning residents are subject to mandatory COVID-19 testing on arrival and a 14-day quarantine order, there are special exemptions for air and sea crew. Some local media have speculated that these loopholes in quarantine rules could have allowed COVID-19 positive crew members to enter Hong Kong and infect local residents.
“Since April, more than 3,200 voluntary and mandatory tests have been taken by Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon pilots and cabin crew. None of these has come back positive, and none of our operating crew has been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19,” explained Greg Hughes, Cathay’s chief operations officer in response to media reports.
“This demonstrates that our aircrew are extremely diligent when it comes to adhering to social distancing rules and protecting themselves. Throughout the COVID-19 period our crew