The department of health for the Government of Western Australia has released a statement confirming six passengers who flew with Emirates from Dubai to Perth, Western Australia have tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in the country on July 1. The positive cases were only confirmed on Sunday and other passengers on the same flight have been advised to self-monitor for symptoms and are also likely to be tested before being allowed to leave quarantine.
In the statement Department of Health for the Government of Western Australia said the six new cases were all passengers on the roughly 11-hour Emirates flight EK420 between Dubai and Perth. The passengers are four women and two men aged between 40 and 64 years old. But did not say whether they started their journeys in Dubai or had simply transited through the United Arab Emirates from a third country. The new cases represent a 66 per cent increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in Western Australia.
The Department of Health is interviewing all passengers on the flight, who are also all in hotel quarantine, to ascertain if there were any close contacts to the newly diagnosed cases onboard.
“There are now nine active cases in Western Australia. To date, 600 people have recovered from the virus in WA (Western Australia).”
Meanwhile Emirates only resumed flights to Perth three weeks ago after grounding its entire fleet on March 25 as an emergency measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At present, the airline is only operating one flight per week to the Western Australian city on a Boeing 777-300.
Passengers flying with Emirates must wear a face mask throughout their flight and cabin crew are kitted out in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including googles and disposable gowns. There is little evidence to suggest in-flight transmission of COVID-19 between passengers is common but globally, there have been a few confirmed cases of cabin crew and pilots being infected from one another.