CAAP correction: Last batch of Boracay tourists from Wuhan left Monday, not Saturday
ILOILO CITY—A group of tourists from Wuhan City in China who went on vacation in Boracay Island was set to fly home Monday evening (Jan. 27), contrary to an earlier statement of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) that the group was the last batch that had already left on Saturday (Jan. 25).
Eric Apolonio, CAAP spokesperson, corrected his earlier statement that the 156 tourists from Wuhan who departed from the Kalibo International Airport (KIA) in Aklan at 8:20 p.m. on Saturday were the last batch of tourists returning to China.
The group of 156 tourists from Wuhan will be departing at 8:20 p.m. Monday on board a chartered Royal Air Charter plane.
The tourists are the last to leave from among 600 passengers of chartered flights that arrived at KIA en route to Boracay before the Chinese government imposed a lockdown on travel for residents of
Wuhan, a city in Hubei province of China.
The city is the epicenter of the novel coronavirus (nCOV) outbreak that has spread to other countries including in Europe and North America.
Apolonio said those who were flown back to Wuhan starting Thursday until Saturday where passengers of three flights that arrived before the lockdown and the indefinite suspension of direct flights between Wuhan and Kalibo.
The last batch that will fly home Monday evening was composed of passengers of the flight that arrived last Thursday just hours before the flights were suspended.
Peter Tay, liason officer in Boracay of the Chinese Embassy, confirmed that there were still tourists from Wuhan in Boracay who were set to leave the island on Monday.
He said the tourists from Wuhan, brought to Boracay by tour groups, had been staying in “five to six hotels” on the island.
Residents of Boracay Island have raised concerns and protested the permission given to tourists from Wuhan to proceed to Boracay, the country’s prime tourist destination normally packed with tourists for the Lunar New Year and summer elsewhere.
Some have called for a temporary ban on all tourists coming from China while the nCOV outbreak is continuing.
More than 50 persons have died from the disease as of Monday with more than 2,700 confirmed cases in China alone.
Edited by TSB
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