Pallister says airport incident not coronavirus
WINNIPEG -- Premier Brian Pallister provided an update to the medical incident at the airport Thursday afternoon.
At a carbon tax news conference Friday, the premier briefly discussed the incident, saying the medical incident was not related to the coronavirus.
One person was taken to hospital after a medical issue onboard a WestJet flight from Vancouver to Winnipeg.
Tyler McAfee with the Winnipeg Airports Authority said WestJet flight 448 landed in Winnipeg at 2:16 p.m., and the crew was notified that a passenger was having a medical issue.
First responders arrived on scene at the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport to deal with the situation and a Shared Health spokesperson confirmed to CTV News that one person was taken to hospital.
WestJet said in an emailed statement to CTV News that the crew onboard "followed all proper procedures."
"Out of an abundance of caution, our crew notified the appropriate authorities that there was a potential medical issue onboard WestJet flight 448 from Vancouver to Winnipeg and followed all proper procedures," the statement said.
WestJet also said, "EMS cleared the flight with the approval of the Public Health Agency of Canada and all 134 guests have disembarked."
In a statement, a provincial spokesperson said Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living (MHSAL) can’t provide any specific information about the incident as it could result in the release of personal health information.
“Preparation had already occurred with MHSAL, Winnipeg Airport Authority, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and City of Winnipeg officials. Appropriate precautions were taken yesterday as advised by the Public Health Agency of Canada and MHSAL,” the statement said.
The spokesperson noted there’s currently no lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province and the overall risk to Manitobans is low.
PARAMEDICS BOARDED FLIGHT WEARING MASKS
Passengers of flight 448 told CTV News just minutes into the flight, a woman went to the washroom and remained there for most of the flight.
There was an announcement asking if there was a doctor or nurse on board, and once the plane landed paramedics suited up in protective gear and boarded the plane.
"They said 'oh it's going to take a bit of time because the paramedics need to put on their masks' and that was when it was like ' oh okay, something is happening," one passenger on the flight told CTV News.
"Later they said the paramedics need to consult with Public Health."
Another passenger told CTV News the passengers on the flight were told the crew was just being "extra cautious" with the person's medical condition.
The passengers said a woman was taken off the plane on a stretcher.
"They didn't really tell us what happened with her, just that we were free to go."
PROVINCE MONITORING THE SITUATION
Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living said it is aware of the situation but is not able to release specific information as it could result in the release of personal health information.
"Public Health officials are monitoring the emerging and rapidly evolving situation related to COVID-19," a spokesperson for Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living told CTV News, referring to the global situation of the virus.
"Manitoba Health, Seniors & Active Living and Shared Health are co-managing an incident management structure to ensure coordinated planning, preparation, mitigation, and response."
The spokesperson said at this time there have been no laboratory-confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus identified in the province and the overall risk to Manitobans remains low.
McAfee said while there is heightened awareness of COVID-19 around the world, medical issues on flights are not uncommon.
"It's quite regular that we'll have an airline reach out to us with some kind of medical issue with a passenger," McAfee said, adding this could be something as minimal as feeling unwell before boarding the plane.
The spokesperson from said Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living at this time there have been no laboratory-confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus identified in the province and the overall risk to Manitobans remains low.
-with files from CTV's Devon McKendrick and Michelle Gerwing