The airline that airlifted a Newcastle man home from Nigeria has maintained that nobody can board a Canada-bound flight without presenting proof of negative COVID-19 test.
Family members have ascertained that the man who died recently was Emeka Idegwu. They described him as a married father of three, a kind and loving man.
The attention of Durham EMS was called to the Newscastle home of Idegwu at around 6:30 a.m. where a man was sweating, experiencing shortness of breath and loss of taste.
Paramedics were informed that the man had just come back from Africa the previous day and that he informed call-takers he must have contracted COVID-19.
After the man stopped breathing, a second unit was dispatched and he was pronounced dead later.
The widow of the man told the Sun that his cause of death and whether he had contracted COVID-19 would be known when her husband’s post mortem is completed.
She revealed that she and her kids are in quarantine, and thanked her neighbours for the help, support and endless food they gave them.
Federal rules have mandated passengers to tender proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding any plane to Canada since January 7.
It was reliably gathered that Idegwu ran a COVID-19 test in Nigeria, but the result didn’t come out on time for his departure.
It was also gathered that he flew to Canada from Nigeria through three Delta Airlines flights that connected through Atlanta and Detroit before he arrived at Toronto’s Pearson Airport.
Delta’s spokesperson told the Sun that no passenger was airlifted from Detroit to Toronto without presenting a negative COVID-19 test and added that the company follows every rule laid out by Transport Canada in respect of flights destined for Canada.
New United States rules requiring negative COVID tests for inbound passengers don’t come into effect until Jan. 26.
Though Transport Canada has refused to comment on particular cases, a spokesperson disclosed air carriers are responsible to ensure their passengers are properly prepared to come back to Canada.
Also, passengers must affirm and declare that they have no symptoms of COVID-19, perform temperature check and put on a proper face covering before the flight, during the flight and after the flight — or be prepared to pay a fine of $5,000.
In the same vein, anybody coming into Canada without providing test results to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers will be sent for secondary screening by a Federal Quarantine officer.
Every carrier who don’t abide by the rules will pay $25,000 fine under the Aeronautics Act.
The spokesperson said: “Transport Canada will not hesitate to take enforcement action, as needed, to ensure the safety and security of the travelling public.”