United: Plane sanitized after positive test


United Airlines assured yesterday that they immediately removed an affected airplane from use and sanitized it after being notified that one of their passengers from the Guam-Saipan flight last Saturday had tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a press statement from United Airlines, it said that they immediately took action after being informed that one of their passengers had tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport last Satyrday.

The company said the actions include removing the aircraft from operation for the entire cabin to be sanitized. “The health and wellbeing of our customers and employees are our highest priority, and we have stringent procedures and guidelines in place to keep our customers and employees safe,” United Airlines said in the statement.

It said the actions were in line with appropriate medical guidelines and procedures set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The carrier said they were officially notified of the positive COVID-19 test by CNMI health authorities.

The one who tested positive for COVID-19 was a 67-year-old male resident of Guam who had just landed on Saipan and was screened during the airport surveillance process. The specimen was confirmed positive at the Commonwealth Health Center laboratory. He was immediately isolated at the Kanoa Resort.

United Airlines, which operates three times a week—Monday, Thursday, and Saturday—resumed its Guam-Saipan flights last May 2 after a month of suspending air services due to coronavirus pandemic. The flights were suspended from April 6 to 30, 2020.

Skymark Airlines Inc.’s last flights between Saipan and Japan was last March 25. The suspension of Saipan-Narita, Narita-Saipan operation was supposed to last until May 10, 2020, but the company extended the flight operation suspension to May 31, 2020.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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