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Flight 5J111 passengers passed screening vs novel coronavirus – Cebu Pacific

/ 12:43 PM January 23, 2020
Flight 5J111 passengers passed screening vs novel coronavirus – Cebu Pacific

HIGH ALERT Passengers arriving at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City are monitored for fever using a thermal scanner on Wednesday. The country is on high alert following the outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus that has infected hundreds of people and killed at least nine in China. —RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines — All passengers aboard Cebu Pacific 5J111 from Hong Kong that arrived Wednesday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport passed the health screening as no one exhibited signs of being infected with the novel coronavirus.

This was the declaration of the local budget airline amid reports that Cebu Pacific 5J111 carried the four family members of a Chinese man, who was found positive for the novel coronavirus in Hong Kong. The family came from Wuhan, China, according to media reports.

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“Nag-screening po doon (They went through screening) and they [passengers] were cleared. They had no symptoms of the virus and so pinayagan po silang tumuloy ng Pilipinas (they were allowed entry to the Philippines),” Charo Logarta-Lagamon, corporate communications director of the airlines, said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer on Thursday.

She added no one was also held by the Bureau of Quarantine.

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Nevertheless, Lagamon said Cebu Pacific Air is coordinating with Hongkong authorities to identify the four passengers.

She also said there was “no information of any kind” from Hongkong officials before the arrival of the Chinese family.

There were around 300 passengers on that flight, according to Lagamon.

“But nonetheless, because of this information that we have received late last night, we immediately, as a matter of protocol for all inbound international flights, dinisinfect po namin ang mga eroplano (we disinfected our airplanes),” she said.

Cebu Pacific Air had sent advisories through email to passengers of that flight informing them of the situation and advising them to go to hospitals if they experience flu-like symptoms.

Health authorities here and abroad have intensified efforts to counter the spread of the new strain of the coronavirus that originated from Wuhan.

International media reported the virus had so far killed 17 people and affected 547 in China, and that similar cases were also reported in the United States, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, as well as in Macao, a special administrative region of China, and the self-governing island of Taiwan.

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In the Philippines, the Department of Health said it is awaiting test results from a laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, on the specimen it took from a five-year-old Chinese boy, who arrived from Wuhan to Cebu City on January 12, to identify the strain of the coronavirus that inflicted him.

Edited by KGA

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