Passengers who arrived on a flight from Guangzhou, China are seen at a pre-departure area waiting for a flight back to their port of origin after they were denied entry at NAIA yesterday.
Rudy Santos, AFP
Thousands denied entry at NAIA
Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - February 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Thousands of incoming passengers of various nationalities who came from China, Hong Kong and Macau were prevented by immigration officials from entering the country yesterday at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after Malacañang issued a directive banning all passengers coming from the areas due to the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (nCoV ARD).

Immigration supervisors in three NAIA terminals said they were confused when they received messages through Viber earlier yesterday that they were instructed to deny entry of all incoming passengers who flew in from China, Hong Kong and Macau.

The passengers – mostly Chinese, but also including Indians, Dutch and French – were dismayed after they were stopped from disembarking the plane and brought to a bay where they would wait for boarding back to their airports of origin.

Some 30 flights from China arrived at NAIA terminals 1, 2 and 3, while 19 flights from Hong Kong and four flights from Macau arrived in the three terminals.

Recommended guidelines

With the safety of the country and all persons within the territory as prime considerations, and upon further advice from the Department of Health that the nCoV has affected all regions of China, President Duterte immediately approved the following recommended guidelines of the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases:

• Temporarily ban the entry of any person, regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and holders of Permanent Resident Visa issued by the Philippine government, directly coming from China and its Special Administrative Regions;

• Temporarily ban the entry of any person, regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and holders of Permanent Resident Visa issued by the Philippine government, who, within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, has been to China and its Special Administrative Regions;

• Impose a mandatory 14-day quarantine for Filipinos and Permanent Resident Visa holders coming from any place in China and its Special Administrative Regions;

• Temporarily ban Filipinos from travel to China and its Special Administrative Regions; and

• Establish a repatriation and quarantine facility.

Accordingly, all heads of departments, agencies, offices and instrumentalities of the government, government-owned and controlled corporations, government financial institutions, state universities and colleges, and local government units are hereby directed to adopt, coordinate and implement the guidelines, and such other guidelines which the task force may subsequently issue on the matter, consistent with the respective agency mandates and relevant laws, rules and regulations, until the threat is over.  – With Catherine Talavera.

NAIA NOVEL CORONAVIRUS ACUTE RESPIRATORY DISEASE
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