'Don't go to airport in groups,' MIAA asks passengers amid nCoV threat
Arriving passengers and airline crew wear protective masks at the international airport in Manila on February 3, 2020.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
'Don't go to airport in groups,' MIAA asks passengers amid nCoV threat
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - February 7, 2020 - 5:35pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila International Airport Authority appealed to individuals who have passengers to meet or send off at airports to refrain from coming in groups amid concerns on the deadly novel coronavirus.

This is to contain and prevent the possible spread of nCoV in the country, MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal said in a statement Friday.

“Let us say our goodbyes at home and not go to the airport in groups when meeting a passenger. It is very hard to fight tradition, but in times like this, everyone should look out for their own safety,” Monreal said.

He also asked families and friends of airline passengers not to bring children, elders, immuno-compromised individuals and those with underlying medical conditions to airport terminals.

The airport chief said he would limit the issuance of visitor passes for the purpose of sending-off or meeting passengers. Exception would be given to medical patients or other related emergency cases, persons with disability, and unaccompanied elders, minors and unaccompanied pregnant women.

Exception would also be given to government repatriation efforts and activities in fulfilment of government international commitments.

Monreal added the issuance of passes to VIP rooms would be limited to airport reception of official guests of the Philippine government and foreign embassies.

Familiarization tours and filming of movies and advertisements were also suspended.

The Philippines reported three confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV: a 38-year-old woman, a 44-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman. The Chinese man died Saturday.

The number of individuals in the Philippines under watch for possible nCoV infection rose to 215 Friday.

In mainland China—the origin of the epidemic—more than 600 people have died with 30,000 confirmed infections.

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