British Airways (BA) crew members have been forced to isolate in Singapore after one of them contracted monkeypox.
In quarantine for three weeks
Two pilots and nine stewards have apparently all been placed in quarantine for 21 days, after one 42-year-old male steward tested positive for the monkeypox virus. Staff were tested after landing in Singapore on the evening of Sunday 26 June, which is when health officials detected the infection. Authorities disclosed the case on Tuesday 21 June.
The crew was on a British Airways' flagship London to Sydney flight. They completed the outward journey and then had a 24-hour stopover in the Australian city before making their way back to the UK via Singapore.
A British Airways insider told the MailOnline:
One of them had it, so they impounded the whole crew. Now they have got to spend 21 days in quarantine. Everyone has been told not to talk about it – but it's all everyone is talking about.
A BA spokesperson told The Mirror:
We’re working closely with the Singapore Health Authorities and have offered assistance with any information they require. We’re in contact with our crew and providing the necessary support.
First case in South-East Asia
The British Airways crew member is the first recorded infection of monkeypox in South-East Asia amid the recent global outbreak.
Over 2,100 cases have been found so far in 42 countries since May. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 80% of cases have been detected in Europe, but the virus has also spread to North America, South America, and Australia. There has been one death recorded.
It comes as the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has announced it is widening eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine to offer it to gay and bisexual men, and men who have sex with men, who are more at risk of contracting the disease.