Some of the 73 Filipino workers and 51 Chinese permanent resident aliens prepare to leave the NAIA Centennial Terminal 2 after their arrival from Xiamen, China yesterday. They have been told to go on home quarantine for 14 days.
Rudy Santos
124 Pinoys, Chinese residents arrive at NAIA from Xiamen
Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - February 11, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A Philippine Airlines (PAL) special flight arrived yesterday afternoon at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 from Xiamen, China with 73 Filipino workers on board and 51 Chinese holders of permanent resident Philippine visas.

PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said special flight PR 335 from Xiamen with six cabin crew and two pilots landed at around 1:16 p.m. with the Filipino workers and Chinese that also included five children, who had stranded in Xiamen due to the travel ban declared after the novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD) outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Villaluna said the special flight earlier left Manila with 100 Chinese passengers on board and landed in Xiamen to pick up the OFWs and other passengers.

Villaluna said the PAL Airbus 321 jet landed at NAIA and immediately proceeded to a remote parking area where four PAL buses were waiting and brought the passengers to the gate of Terminal 2 to undergo quarantine and immigration procedures.

Quarantine doctors and nurses used several portable thermal scanners on every passenger to ensure that no one had fever before being allowed to leave the airport terminal. 

She said the special flight is part of PAL’s public service to their foreign and local passengers.

PAL also issued a travel advisory for passengers departing Manila for the United States.?Passengers departing Manila for the US should fill up a Public Health Declaration Form upon check-in, which must be submitted to PAL airport personnel to complete the process.?These declaration forms are part of a new regulatory requirement of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

All foreign carriers are required to collect and submit the forms along with certain data regarding passengers and crew to US authorities, as part of a public health reporting system. 

PAL assured passengers that all information required will be used only in accordance with applicable laws.

Sen. Imee Marcos yesterday claimed that flights continue to arrive from China, testing the limits of a mandatory 14-day quarantine in preventing the spread of the nCoV in the country.

Marcos said airports in Manila, Cebu, Clark, Davao and Kalibo took in at least 15 direct flights from the cities of Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanning and Wuxi last Sunday.

Local airlines with recorded landings included Royal Air Philippines and Philippines AirAsia, while foreign airlines included Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, China Southern Airlines and Hong Kong Airlines.

“If these (flights) continue, our quarantine may be rendered useless in stopping the spread of nCoV, which the whole world is just beginning to fight,” Marcos said.

She noted that quarantine guidelines for local government units (LGUs) were rushed last Thursday, days after the government banned the entry of non-resident foreigners and imposed a quarantine on Filipinos and Philippine permanent resident visa holders returning from or via China and its special administrative regions.

Marcos urged LGUs to speed up the creation and staffing of barangay isolation units and to strictly monitor returning residents who choose voluntary home confinement, in accordance with guidelines from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), the unit tasked to track down 193 airline passengers that made contact with Chinese travelers infected with the nCov, has accounted for 102 passengers.

CIDG director Maj. Gen. Joel Coronel said three of the 102 passengers so far contacted by the CIDG have already been placed under quarantine by the DOH. – With Evelyn Macairan, Paolo Romero, Neil Jayson Servallos

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