CAB suspends flights to and from Wuhan, China amid coronavirus outbreak

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 23, 2020   •   681

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) on Thursday (January 23) ordered the suspension of flights to and from Wuhan, China amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“The suspension of flights from Wuhan to the Philippines would be the first step. We will continue to monitor the situation [and] coordination with the Department of Health,” CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla told reporters.

Arcilla said other parts of China will also be under strict monitoring.

The CAB also asked airlines to implement standards and other practices on dealing with outbreaks.

“When you look at the seriousness of the outbreak, Wuhan should be the focus of attention,” Arcilla said. “We ask airlines to monitor with vigilance. The flight attendants are required to be vigilant in terms of detecting passengers that have symptoms of flu or virus or fever.”

The Pan Pacific Airlines and Royal Air Philippines have direct flights from Wuhan City to Kalibo, Aklan.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Phlippines reiterated there are no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the country.—AAC

Wuhan welcomes first tourist group since COVID-19 lockdown lifted

UNTV News   •   July 22, 2020

Wuhan City, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, welcomed its first group tour guests on Monday since the lockdown was lifted over 100 days ago, as tourism resumes widely in China.

Once the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, Wuhan is now again a culturally rich city, opening arms to tourists.

This group came from the neighboring Hunan province, consisting of eight tourists whose ages range from 12 to 82.

The local travel agency arranged the best tour guide and a sterilized bus to ensure the tourists’ safety as well as a satisfying travel experience.

Tourists sat separately on the spacious bus and were distributed with masks and sanitizers after temperature tests. They will be heading to several of Wuhan’s most symbolic landmarks such as the Yellow Crane Tower, Chu River Han Street, and Hubu Lane in a four-day tour.

“We got some free tickets for out tourists and enhanced the accommodation level to the five-star-rated hotel where they could enjoy sumptuous buffet for dinner,” said Qian Wenkang, tour guide with the travel group.

“The resumption of inter-provincial travels is a great benefit to the entire tourism industry as well as a hopeful sign for the market to recover,” said Lei Wenjie, CPC committee secretary of the Hubei provincial department of culture and tourism. (Reuters)

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CAB halts domestic flights in first week of GCQ

Marje Pelayo   •   June 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) has suspended the operation of all domestic flights previously scheduled for the first week of June.

The agency made it clear in a memorandum that it has not approved any domestic air flights set for the first week of the relaxed restrictions under the general community quarantine 

The Civil Aeronautics Board ordered all airline companies to cancel all of their scheduled flights for this week and temporarily stop selling plane tickets. 

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque announced that flight schedules are being reviewed.

He also assured that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines will issue guidelines on the matter soon. 

“Theoretically po, ang lahat ng flights ng GCQ to GCQ ay papayagan na, [Theoretically, GCQ to GCQ flights are already allowed],” Roque said.

“Pero aantayin po natin ang CAAP na sila po ang mag-provide ng guidelines at kinakailangan din ng panahon ng ating mga airline companies para maghanda po sa resumption ng kanilang operations, [However, we need to wait for CAAP to provide the guidelines and airline companies also need time to prepare for the resumption of their operations],” he added.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has yet to identify which terminals will reopen. 

Meanwhile, several airline companies have already submitted their respective flight schedules to MIAA and CAAP for review. 

The Philippine Airlines (PAL) has previously announced the resumption of operations for both international and local flights though the company also advised its clients of possible changes depending on the situation relative to the existing quarantine restrictions. 

Cebu Pacific was supposed to resume domestic flights on June 2 and Air Asia on June 3.

International flights are now operating at NAIA Terminal 1 limited to only 400 passengers daily capacity based on the IATF order.

Meanwhile, Terminal 2 only caters to repatriation, sweeper flights and commercial flights by PAL. 

Terminal 3, on the other hand, will serve as a flight station for Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. 

Terminal 4, still remains closed. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

China’s Wuhan kicks off mass testing campaign amid rising cases

UNTV News   •   May 14, 2020

Authorities in the Chinese city where the novel coronavirus emerged launched an ambitious campaign on Wednesday (May 13) to test all of its 11 million residents, after a cluster of new cases raised fears of a second wave of infections.

At least two of the city’s main districts have delivered notices of the campaign door-to-door and sent out online questionnaires through community workers seeking information about tests people have had, and if they belong to what are deemed high-risk groups, residents said.

State broadcaster CCTV showed footage of hundreds of residents queuing up for pre-screening and testing at Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University on Wednesday.

Wuhan was placed under a lockdown on Jan. 23 and it was only lifted on April 8. It reported six new cases over the weekend, the first infections since the curbs were removed.

The Wuhan government earlier said the city had 53 laboratories to process tests, and 211 locations where nucleic acid tests can be done. (Reuters)

(Production: Fang Nanlin)

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