Qatar Airways CEO under fire for doubting existence of coronavirus

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways CEO, talks to media during a roundtable conference in New Delhi.
Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways CEO, talks to media during a roundtable conference in New Delhi.

The Chief ExecutiveOfficer of Qatar Airways has come under fire for doubting the existence of thedeadly coronavirus, an outbreak that the World Health Organization haslabeled as a global pandemic.

In a February 5 interview with Bloombergthat has since resurfaced on social media, Akbar al-Baker said, "During theincubation period, they say that this virus can be transmitted. There is noscientific evidence for that. It is just, you know, a fear factor."

Globally,more than 134,500 people have been infected with the virus. The total number ofconfirmed coronavirus cases in Qatar has reached 262, according tothe Ministry of Health.

The CEO also criticizedgovernments' decision to suspend flights to virus-hit countries, saying thatofficials "don't realize the operational impact it would create on an airline."

"What evidence [do] you have that on every single airplane youdo not have three or four people with contagious disease sitting next to you?"

Qatar onMonday banned the entry of people arriving from 14 countries,including Iran, Lebanon, and Iraq, in an effort to contain the spread ofcoronavirus.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Ajel
english.ajel.sa