Nigerian skips quarantine in Guyana arrives in St Vincent and the Grenadines

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By Caribbean News Global contributor

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent — Criticism from several quarters have been leveled at regional air carrier LIAT, after a male passenger, who was quarantined in Guyana, was allowed to fly onboard LIAT flight LI771 to St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The passenger who is Nigerian by birth but a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago by marriage was quarantined due to alleged contact with that country’s fatal COVID-19 case.

Caribbean Airlines flagged him after he tried to use CAL to return home, seven days into his 14-day quarantine. Hours later CAL reportedly informed LIAT of the situation.

On Saturday, March 14, 2020, LIAT flight LI771 landed at the Argyle International Airport. This caused anxiety amongst airport workers and passengers, forcing the authorities to close the domestic terminal for a few hours, in addition to grounding the LIAT flight.

Several hotels in St Vincent and the Grenadines refused to accept the passenger until one decided to allow him to complete his quarantine at their facility.

LIAT released a statement dated Sunday, March 15, 2020, stating:

“LIAT has been advised that a passenger who travelled on one of its services has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. At the time of travel, the passenger did not present any symptoms at check-in or onboard. The passenger tested positive several days later for the virus.

“While the assessment from public health authorities is that the risk of exposure is low, LIAT has taken immediate measures to ensure the safety of all its stakeholders. In accordance with procedures and in consultation with the public health authorities, LIAT has taken the crew members from the flight off duty and they are currently in self-quarantine.

“We have ensured that the aircraft was cleaned in keeping with global cleaning standards. In addition, we have taken the additional measure of having the aircraft deep cleaned and sanitized using processes outlined by the authorities and the aircraft manufacturer.

“LIAT has been in contact with the relevant public authorities and has complied with their request for information on the affected flight. This is in keeping with the standard protocol.

“LIAT’s COVID-19 Project Team has been in contact with the various Health Authorities and Airports in our network and continues to monitor the situation closely.

“LIAT will continue to work to ensure the safety of our customers and employees as this situation with COVID-19 evolves.”

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