Passengers with booked China flights told to seek proper guidance

Passengers with booked China flights told to seek proper guidance

MANILA – Air passengers who have already booked flights to China are advised to coordinate with their respective airlines or travel agencies, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Ed Monreal said on Sunday.

Monreal issued the statement just hours after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the expansion of the temporary travel ban order by including travelers from the entire mainland China, and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macao.

Apart from the extended travel ban, Duterte also gave a directive to temporarily stop Filipinos from traveling to China, Hong Kong, and Macao.

Duterte’s order came amid government’s efforts to curb the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Philippines.

MIAA, in a press statement, urged air passengers with canceled flights to stay updated and check airline websites.

“(General manager) Monreal advises passengers with flights to and from China to coordinate with their airline or travel agency for proper guidance,” the statement read.

“They (air passengers) are also encouraged to check airline websites for advisories and keep themselves informed about this evolving issue,” it added.

Duterte initially approved on Friday the recommendation to impose a temporary travel ban on travelers coming from Wuhan City and entire Hubei province in China.

The 2019-nCov, which originates in Wuhan, China, continues to spread to more than a dozen countries, most of which are Asian countries.

Deaths of people afflicted with the new coronavirus have already climbed to over 300 people in China alone.

MIAA said Monreal already called for a meeting with the Airline Operators Council, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Quarantine and MIAA officials at 3 p.m., Sunday “to discuss the best way to implement the Presidential directive on the expanded travel ban to and from China”.

“The meeting will be consultative in nature, with the end view of coming up with an organized and coordinated execution of the travel ban with the least inconvenience to passengers who will be affected by its immediate implementation,” it said.

The Philippines has two confirmed cases of 2019-nCov involving the 38-year-old Chinese woman and her companion, a 44-year old Chinese male from Wuhan.

The male patient died on Saturday, while the female patient is still being treated at San Lazaro Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila.  Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos /PNA –