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Published on Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Korean Air flight attendant infected with coronavirus






Korean Air is facing an avalanche of refund requests after news broke that a flight attendant tested positive for coronavirus.


A government official confirmed the positive test but the airline has not disclosed how many and which flights the flight attendant was working during the likely period of infection.


The crew member did work on the Incheon-Los Angeles route from February 19-20 just prior to the positive test, and also flew the Incheon-Tel Aviv route, local media reported.


"The flight attendant is being taken care of by health authorities," an official at the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.


As a precaution, the airline shut down an administrative building near Incheon Airport which is used for pre-flight crew briefings.


The airline is scrambling to trace all work colleagues and passengers who may have come into close contact with the sick crew member over the past two weeks.


Some local media outlets reported the crew member was on the flight to Israel with a group of pilgrims, many of whom tested positive.


The airline is disinfecting aircraft, and asking other crew members to self-quarantine if they have any possible symptoms.


Customers have taken to social media to seek refunds although by late Tuesday the airline hadn't updated its refund policy.


South Korea increased its national threat level to the highest level: 'red alert' with the Prime Minister saying the country is in a 'grave situation.'


The number of confirmed cases has surged to nearly 1,000 and 10 deaths, although most are linked to a church in the city of Daegu.


The Korea CDC pledged to test every one of the 200,000-plus congregation of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus.

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