PAL assures Kalibo-bound flights from China already stopped
MANILA, Philippines – Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has assured that they are no longer making Kalibo-bound flights from China airports, after the government confirmed the first case of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the country.
PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said that the flights between Kalibo and Chinese cities of Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Pudong were suspended as early as January 25 — although flights back to China have been provided to allow Chinese nationals to return to their residences.
“Nagkansela po ang Philippine Airlines ng flights between Kalibo and Nanjing, Kalibo and Hangzhou, and Kalibo and Pudong. Nagdesisyon po ang pamunuang ng Philippine Airlines na ikansela ang mga flights na ito as far back as January 25,” Villaluna said in an interview with DZMM.
(Philippine Airlines has canceled flights between Kalibo and Nanjing, Kalibo and Hangzhou, and Kalibo and Pudong. The Philippine Airlines’ management has decided to cancel the flights as far back as January 25.)
“Dahil po dito, ‘yong mga outbound flights po natin… inoperate po natin ito, January 27, 28, 29, at sa araw na ito, ‘yong huling flight na palabas, Kalibo to Hangzhou, umalis ng 5:10 (p.m.) para po makabalik ‘yong mga Chinese nationals sa kani-kanilang area sa China,” she added.
(Because of this, the outbound flights, we operated from January 27, 28, 29, and today, the last outbound flight, Kalibo to Hangzhou, departed at 5:10 p.m. to allow Chinese nationals to go back to their areas.)
As for Cebu Pacific, spokesperson Charo Logarta Lagamon said that their flights between China and the Philippines are still on going — although they are still reviewing actions needed to halt the spread of the disease.
“For routes to and from mainland China, tuloy-tuloy po ito (these will continue), any changes or any announcements we will make the announcement accordingly,” Lagamon said in a separate interview with DZMM.
“We are currently reviewing and assessing ‘yong sitwasyon kung ano pa bang aksyon ang kailangang gawin para ma-mitigate itong pagkalat ng virus, saka kung ilan pa ba ‘yong pasaherong gusto pang lumipad given ‘yong sitwasyon na ito,” she added.
(We are currently reviewing and assessing the situation, if what actions are needed to mitigate the spread of the virus, and if how many passengers still want to pursue flying given this situation.)
Cebu Pacific added that they are giving people who have booked trips to China an option to rebook, refund, or exchange their trips, in case they feel uneasy over traveling.
“Patuloy po kaming nag-ooffer sa lahat pasaherong booked sa lahat ng ruta to and from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau ng option na kung hindi na po sila kumportableng bumyahe ay maaari po silang mag-rebook, mag-refund, or magtravel fund ng cost ng kanilang ticket nang wala pong bayad,” Lagamon noted.
In China, where the virus originated, more than 7,000 people have been infected with this latest strain of the coronavirus, with 170 already dead. Earlier, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced that the first confirmed 2019 n-CoV case was recorded in the Philippines.
The carrier was identified as a 38-year-old Chinese student, who is currently confined in a hospital in Manila.
As of now, the Department of Health (DOH) is monitoring 29 patients under investigation (PUIs), although five of the patients have been discharged already. One of the PUIs died on Wednesday, but DOH claimed that the patient also tested positive for HIV.
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