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Cebu allows quarantined passengers from Mindanao to go home

CEBU CITY—The Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) has made travel arrangements so that quarantined passengers from Mindanao could go home.

Fourteen passengers were accommodated in a Cebu Pacific flight to Davao City on Thursday night while seven others flew via Philippine Airlines on Friday morning.

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Steve Dicdican, MCIAA general manager, said the passengers were among 78 people who arrived at Mactan airport on Wednesday. He said they needed to be quarantined since they came from Taiwan, which was among the countries included in the travel ban due to the new coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Not good enough

Dicdican said about 30 people were moved to a quarantine facility in Cebu City while the rest would undergo home quarantine since they were from Cebu.

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Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said she was informed that many passengers, who arrived in Cebu from Taiwan, had been complaining about the facility at Barangay Apas here.

“Since the evacuation is not good enough, we are transferring them to another facility in Pinamungahan [town, west Cebu],” she said.

A man from Bacolod City said he and other passengers, who arrived at 10 a.m. on Wednesday from Taiwan, were surprised to learn that they would undergo quarantine at a facility in Barangay Apas.

‘Detained, not quarantined’

He and other passengers decried the way they were treated by authorities when they arrived at the airport. He said policemen with long firearms threatened them to obey the directives otherwise they would be jailed.

“Are we terrorists? We were actually detained, not quarantined,” he added.

Ten hours after their arri­val, the passengers were ta­ken to the quarantine facility which, they said, had rooms with no water and toilets that were defective.

Be patient

They were given folding beds but without any bed sheets. There were pillows but without a pillow case, while the blanket smelled bad, they said.

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“Please put heart in your protocol. Treat us as humans,” said a passenger.

Garcia earlier imposed a 14-day quarantine for visitors arriving in the province amid the spread of the COVID-2019. The ban covers those coming from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, director of the Department of Health in Central Visayas and cochair of the Task Force COVID-19, appealed to those who would undergo quarantine to be patient, saying they imposed certain protocols to stop the spread of the virus.

“The 14-day quarantine is basic. If you undergo such process, please don’t expect to be accommodated in a five-star hotel. I hope people will understand the situation. It is better to be overacting than be sorry,” Bernadas said.

For more information about the novel coronavirus click here.

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu Pacific, COVID-19, Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority, Quarantine
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