Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation (Dirección General de Aviación Civil) confirmed that at 11:30 pm Saturday, the flight that was delayed for practically most of the day due to an alert for the presence of the coronavirus Covid-19, departed from the Juan Santamaría International or San Jose airport (SJO).
The 98 passengers of Copa flight CM788 had to remain confined in special rooms at the airport terminal, while test samples for the coronavirus covid-19 were analyzed. The Ministry of Health indicated, at 8:40 pm., that on the flight was “a group of Italians who had had contact with a suspicious case.”
At 9:30 pm, Health confirmed that the suspected case that had contact with these two passengers on the plane was ruled out of being infected, so the flight was authorized, but only of passengers whose final destination was the Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama City. The flight departed at about 11:30 pm, arriving in Panama an hour later.
The Europeans that were held left behind Costa Rica were able to leave at 11:30 am on Sunday for their home country via Panama.
Alvaro Vargas, director of Civil Aviation, confirmed that the delayed flight arrived in Costa Rica at 3:30 pm on Saturday, from Guatemala, but a suspicion alert forced action.
The group of passengers, he said, received the best possible care and the protocol the Ministry of Health was applied.
The San Jose airport has a special area set up for these circumstances with everything necessary to deal with cases of respiratory illness and, if necessary, places where an ambulance transfer patients to the Alajuela hospital.
All passengers were interviews and tests were made to determine if any person required hospitalization or not.
The area is far from other flights, so the normal flow of flight departures and arrivals from the airport is not interrupted.
In contingency situations like this, the responsibility for passenger comfort lies directly with each airline whose flight is affected.
The expense is shared between the airlines and the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) Costa Rican Tourism Board, in total coordination with Health.