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

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 23, 2020   •   296

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

Overseas students form helpful volunteer group to offer assistance in Wuhan

UNTV News   •   February 20, 2020

CHINA (Reuters) – International students at a university in Wuhan City have formed a volunteer team to provide services for other students on campus since they are not allowed to go outside as part of the current epidemic control measures.

After the outbreak, a doctoral student, who goes by his Chinese name Daming and is from Benin, took the initiative to put together a group of students to help with deliveries for the 320 international students being housed at the Silk Road Institute under the China University of Geosciences.

His volunteer team is made up of students from 13 countries that include Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Madagascar, Rwanda, and Yemen.

On top of delivering essentials to each student, the volunteers also help to transport and organize supplies donated to the university.

“We published some information [appealing for donations]. Some villagers in my hometown of Jingmen City saw the information and contacted us. These Chinese cabbages, carrots and corn were all donated by the villagers,” said Xu Feng, deputy dean at the Silk Road Institute.

As the group continues to work hard, Daming has referred to the team as “Iron Men”, which he thinks reflects the braveness of the volunteers.

“Though we come from different countries, our hearts are connected. All the volunteers are resilient and we are not scared of the virus,” said Daming.

Even though his team of iron men is confident in their work, Daming’s parents were initially worried about his safety and asked if he wanted to leave.

“At the very beginning, my parents asked me whether I want to go home, as they felt very worried. I shot some videos for them and then they feel relieved and think it is okay for me to stay here,” said Daming.

All the volunteers have said they regard Wuhan as their second home and they want to help the city to get through the present difficulties through action.

“This is my responsibility and also the world’s responsibility. We all support Wuhan. Fight on,” said Yang Kang, a student from Afghanistan.

Hospital president dies of infection in Wuhan

UNTV News   •   February 18, 2020

Liu Zhiming

The president of Wuhan’s Wuchang Hospital in central China’s Hubei Province, Liu Zhiming, died at the age of 51 from the novel coronavirus pneumonia, or COVID-19, on Tuesday.

Liu died at 10:54 despite all attempts made by medical staff to cure him, Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in an online statement.

Wuchang Hospital was among the first designated to treat infections related to the epidemic. Liu had led the medical staff in the fight against the virus and had made important contributions in the city’s prevention and control efforts, according to the statement.

Chinese authorities said as of February 11, more than 1,700 medical workers have been infected and six have died. (Reuters)

Hundreds of medical staff in Wuhan shave their heads to reduce risk of contagion

UNTV News   •   February 13, 2020

Hundreds of doctors and nurses in Wuhan chose to cut their hair short or even shave their heads, to avoid cross-infection when treating coronavirus patients.

Three hairdressers volunteered on Wednesday (February 12) in a hotel, which hosts medical teams that came from other provinces to support hospitals in Wuhan, giving them hair cuts for free.

A representative of the medical team from Xinjiang says that long hair would pose a risk of carrying pathogens when treating patients at an epidemic area.

Many of them made the decision to cut their hair short, or remove their hair altogether including 30 female medical staff who even took the bold step to go bald.

“Normally out of 100 customers, I probably wouldn’t even have one request for shaving head… but in these two days I’ve already shaved many heads,” said Wen Bin, one of the volunteer hairdressers, adding that he admired their spirit of sacrifice during this crisis period.

The novel coronavirus has spread throughout the world since the first case emerged in central China at the end of last year, and the death toll from the outbreak in China reached 1,367 by the end of Wednesday. (Reuters)

(Production: Irene Wang)

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