According to Fox News, a United Airlines (United Airlines) flight from Orlando to Los Angeles made an emergency landing in New Orleans on Monday local time, and one passenger on board was declared dead.
United Airlines confirmed that the unidentified passenger encountered a “medical emergency” on the plane.
Later, while United Airlines said it had not received any specific information about the medical emergency, other passengers claimed on social media Twitter that the man’s wife implied that he had contracted the novel coronavirus and had developed some symptoms.
“Due to a medical emergency, our flight was diverted to New Orleans, and medical staff took the passenger to a local hospital and declared his death,” the company said in a statement.
We will keep in touch with the families of the victims and express our most sincere condolences to them for their loss. While there is some speculation in the media that it is related to COVID-19, we have not yet been confirmed as to the cause of death.”
An eyewitness on board the plane claimed that the passenger was “at first thought to be a heart attack”, but his wife said he was short of breath and had no sense of taste and smell.
Another Twitter user who claimed to be on the plane said that someone performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or at least “thoractoral compression” on the man before the plane landed.
The report pointed out that United Airlines currently requires passengers to fill in a “take-off preparation” checklist, including mask requirements and additional cleaning procedures, in addition to implementing health and safety agreements when checking in.
The airline also worked with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement a contact tracing program starting December 17, requiring passengers to voluntarily provide several key pieces of information to speed up the search for passengers who may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
The plan will begin with international passengers arriving in the United States, and then expand to all passengers in the coming weeks.