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Asiana flight attendant infected with new coronavirus

Asiana Airlines Inc., South Korea's second-biggest airline, said Tuesday it has asked 12 cabin crew members to self-isolate after their colleague on a Incheon-New York flight was diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

The infected flight attendant flew with the 12 others on the flight OZ222, which left Incheon last Tuesday (Korean time) and returned on the flight OZ221 from New York on Thursday (US time), according to Asiana.

The purser reportedly traveled in his private car to Samcheok, Gangwon Province, on Saturday and Sunday. 

On Sunday, the cabin crew member showed symptoms, such as a fever, and on the following day, he was diagnosed with COVID-19 at a local health center, a company spokesman said over the phone.

As the health authorities usually conduct an epidemiological investigation on people who might have been in contact with an infected person during the 24 hours before the person shows suspected symptoms of the coronavirus, the 12 crew members are not subject to self-quarantine, the company said.

But the company put the 12 employees in self-quarantine for 14 days in a preemptive measure to prevent the spread of the virus, the spokesman said.

Asiana said it is cooperating with the health authorities and will take additional steps depending on the results of the investigation into the places and people the purser visited and met. (Yonhap)