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Ill passenger removed from plane at Winnipeg airport with possible case of novel coronavirus

Ill passenger removed from plane at Winnipeg airport with possible case of COVID-19
WATCH: Ill passenger removed from plane at Winnipeg airport with possible case of COVID-19

A passenger has been removed from a plane at Winnipeg’s Richardson International Airport with a possible case of COVID-19.

Global News has learned the passenger, a middle-aged woman who had recently been in China, fell ill on WestJet flight 448 from Vancouver to Winnipeg Thursday afternoon.

The airport was alerted about a medical emergency on board and Winnipeg Airports Authority spokesperson Tyler McAfee said first responders were mobilized.

Sources told Global News the woman exhibited symptoms that led to primary screening for COVID-19.

Passengers say paramedics in protective gear boarded the plane and removed the woman.

Passengers react to possible case of COVID-19 on plane at Winnipeg airport
Passengers react to possible case of COVID-19 on plane at Winnipeg airport
Paramedics on a flight at Winnipeg’s airport where a person was taken off with a possible case of COVID-19.
Paramedics on a flight at Winnipeg’s airport where a person was taken off with a possible case of COVID-19. Theresa Marion/Submitted

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“They told us that we just had to stay seated for a while, before that they told us that someone was ill on the plane and asked if there was any medical personnel,” said Joey Curry, who was on the plane along with her husband, Bob.

“Nobody knew what was going on, so you can’t be too careful.”

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Curry said the remaining passengers were kept on the plane for about an hour-and-a-half after the plane landed in Winnipeg around 2:16 p.m.

Joey Curry was on the plane to Winnipeg from Vancouver.
Joey Curry was on the plane to Winnipeg from Vancouver. Global News

Fellow passenger Rose Barr from Winnipeg said she and others on the plane were concerned about COVID-19.

“Everyone was wearing masks and you’re kind of thinking ‘should we be pulling out our masks?” Barr said near the luggage return at Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport after passengers were allowed off the plane.

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It’s unclear if other passengers faced any additional screening.

READ MORE: Still no cases of novel coronavirus in Manitoba: chief provincial public health officer

The Winnipeg Airports Authority has referred all medical questions to health authorities.

In a statement, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living said it is aware of the situation but wouldn’t provide any specific information “as it could result in the release of personal health information.”

Ill passenger removed from plane at Winnipeg airport, screened for novel coronavirus
Ill passenger removed from plane at Winnipeg airport, screened for novel coronavirus

“We can confirm that all appropriate precautions and procedures are being followed,” said a Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living spokesperson.

The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service confirmed crews were called to the airport and took a woman to hospital from the plane.

— With files from Marney Blunt

Winnipeg businesses feeling economic impact of coronavirus
Winnipeg businesses feeling economic impact of coronavirus