Singapore delays Turkish Airlines flight after coronavirus case found

SINGAPORE, March 5 (Reuters) - Singapore’s transport ministry grounded a Turkish Airlines aircraft overnight that had been due to depart from Changi Airport late on Wednesday, after one of the passengers was confirmed infected with the novel coronavirus.

In a statement posted on its website on Wednesday, the transport ministry said the health ministry had confirmed that one of the passengers on flight TK54, which arrived in Singapore from Turkey on March 3, had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

It said the “Ministry of Health has started contact tracing for flight passengers who may have had contact with the case while the case was infectious.”

All 220 passengers on the plane were tested and provided with hotel rooms, according to local media reports.

The plane is a Boeing Co 787-9, according to FlightRadar24. Turkish Airlines has 300 seats on its 787s but Reuters was not able to confirm how many passengers were in the flight. The aircraft flew out of Singapore empty on Thursday morning, according to local media reports.

Turkish Airlines did not respond immediately to a request for comment outside business hours.

Singapore had 112 confirmed cases of coronavirus, which started in China, but a large majority of the patients in the city-state have recovered and been discharged from hospital. (Reporting by Anshuman Daga and Jamie Freed; Editing by Gerry Doyle)