Korean Air has shut down its office near Incheon International Airport, the main airport in Seoul, South Korea on Tuesday after one of its flight attendant tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) notified the carrier of the infected employee, a spokeswoman for the airlines told Reuters.
The flight attendant worked flights between Los Angeles International Airport and Incheon International Airport in Seoul on Feb. 19 and 20, FOX 11 Los Angeles reported.
She also worked a flight from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Seoul on Feb. 15, according to KCDC.
The woman was reportedly in Israel before arriving in L.A., where it is believed she walked around Koreatown before returning to Incheon, South Korea.
The airline has started its disinfection of the aircraft and asked its employees with symptoms to self-quarantine as they install thermal cameras on their operation locations, Business Insider reported.
Korean Air “is creating a structure to work very closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Korea (CDCK) to prevent the spreading of the virus,” an airline representative told Business Insider.
After the news broke out on Tuesday, people flooded the airline’s comments section on Facebook and asked to cancel their flights to South Korea and other Asian countries.
That same day, the airline granted refunds for flights to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan that were purchased before Jan. 28 as well as reimbursements for passengers with “entry restriction regarding novel coronavirus.” However, Korean Air has yet to refund flight bookings to South Korea.
Passengers who recently traveled to China will have their tickets to the U.S. refunded as the country is currently barring anyone who has visited China in the past 14 days.
The number of people infected in South Korea has gone up to 1,146, according to the data from the Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
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