Xiamen Air flight from China lands in Davao

Edith Regalado - The Philippine Star
Xiamen Air flight from China lands in Davao

DAVAO CITY, Philippines  – A Xiamen Air direct flight from Jinjiang, China that carried more than 50 Chinese nationals from Quanzhou in China arrived yesterday afternoon at the Davao International Airport here in President Duterte’s hometown.

The twice weekly Quanzhou (Jinjiang)-Davao-Quanzhou route, which is operated using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, is Xiamen Airlines’ fourth destination in the Philippines after Manila, Cebu and Kalibo.

The flight arrived amid public concern over the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) that has affected more than 6,000 people globally and killed over 100 in China.

Chinese consul general Li Lin, who is based in Davao City, confirmed the arrival of the Xiamen Air flight.

“Yes, they have arrived from China. I understand that the quarantine at the airport took care of them,” Li told The STAR.

The Chinese government had earlier asked travel agencies to stop organizing group tours in Davao City for tourists from Jinjiang supposedly starting last Monday until further notice to stop the spread of the nCoV.

The Xiamen Air flight, however, landed here despite the request of the Chinese government itself.

Li said Chinese travel agencies were urged to suspend group tours for the Jinjiang-Davao direct air route, which started?operating in late 2018.

Sources at the quarantine office at the Davao airport told The STAR that the required quarantine protocols were conducted upon the arrival of the Chinese nationals from Jinjiang yesterday.

“We have the monitoring equipment right at the arrival area and no one displays symptoms of the coronavirus. That’s why they were allowed to enter the city,” the same source said.

Besides, the passengers were reportedly tested by the airline itself when they departed for Davao City from Jinjiang yesterday.

Authorities also got hold of the necessary details as to where the Chinese nationals were staying while in Davao City.

A Cathay Pacific direct flight from Hong Kong also arrived at Davao airport yesterday, followed by Silk Air flight from Singapore.

Meanwhile, the city government of the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte has declared the place off limits not only to Chinese tourists but also to visitors from other Asian countries.

The measure is taken to protect the local populace from exposure to Wuhan nCoV.

The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed that there are 23 persons under investigation for suspected nCoV, with one case being observed here.

The DOH, however, has not revealed where the Davao case was admitted.

Duterte was expected to come home to Davao City late last night after attending the anniversary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and a private dinner.



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