The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) announced the indefinite suspension of flights between central China’s city of Wuhan and the Philippines to prevent the entry of deadly 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the country.
“It is only in Kalibo that we have direct flights to and from Wuhan. These flights are being offered by Pan Pacific Airlines, and Royal Air Charter. Both of them operate chartered flights three times weekly,” Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) spokesperson Eric Apolonio told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a text message.
“Today, CAB suspended their operations until further notice,” he added.
In an advisory issued on Thursday, the CAB also directed air carriers with flights coming directly or connecting from China to get a health declaration checklist from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).
The CAB said passengers must fill out the health declaration checklist prior to disembarkation as part of the precautionary measure to prevent the entry of the new coronavirus strain in the country.
Meanwhile, local carriers Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines on Thursday urged passengers to take extra precautions against coronavirus.
The two carriers asked their passengers to avoid close contact with anyone with flu-like symptoms, wear a face mask, wash hands regularly and thoroughly, drink plenty of water, cover their mouths when sneezing or coughing, and avoid unprotected contact with wild animals or farm animals.
They also advised their passengers to postpone air travel if they are not feeling well or if they exhibit flu-like symptoms.
The 2019-nCov has started spreading in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province in December last year.
China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that 571 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV had been reported throughout China, resulting in 17 deaths, all in Hubei province.
Overseas, the regions of Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, as well as in the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea have confirmed one case each, and Thailand with three cases. (Xinhua)