CebuPac Flight 5J111 passengers urged to seek medical advice for nCov infection
Marje Pelayo • January 24, 2020 • 995
MANILA, Philippines – Budget airline Cebu Pacific is calling on all passengers of Flight 5J111 from Hong Kong to Manila which arrived on Wednesday (January 22), to seek medical attention should they exhibit flu-like symptoms amid the outbreak of novel coronavirus (nCov).
In its advisory, the airline said it has been alerted by reports from Hong Kong media that four passengers aboard the said flight may have been exposed to a person infected by nCov.
The management, however, assured that “all passengers and the crew aboard the flight were screened by the Bureau of Quarantine upon arrival in Manila, and none of them were held for further observation.”
To verify, the airline is now coordinating with Hong Kong authorities regarding the media reports.
Nevertheless, CebuPac advises its passengers aboard the said flight to “immediately seek medical attention should they exhibit flu-like symptoms including runny nose, cough, sore throat or fever.”
“We have also disinfected the aircraft following our standard practice for all inbound international flights,” the airline assured.
“We are closely monitoring the spread of the Wuhan virus, and have precautionary measures in place for our flights,” the statement read further.
Meanwhile, airline passengers are urged to take the following precautionary measures and maintain good hygiene and strong immune system so as not to contract the virus.
• Frequent handwashing with soap and water • Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer • Using a face mask • Postponing air travel if feeling unwell. Health experts recommend travelers stay home a minimum of 24 hours after a fever subsides
“Under the new normal, it is almost not possible for us to wait until there are no more local cases before relaxing the social distancing measures,” the official said in a media briefing on Tuesday (August 25).
Chan said unless there are drastic changes to the epidemic situation, the government would issue new directions before Friday specifically the following:
(1) Extend the dine-in services allowed to 9 pm;
(2) Allow re-opening of scheduled premises including cinemas, beauty parlours and also some outdoor sports premises for activities involving little physical contact; and
(3) Allow people not to wear masks in country parks and while doing exercise.
Prof. Chan reminded the public, however, that while the number of daily new cases has been gradually declining, the epidemic situation still has not completely stabilized.
Thus, she advised Hong Kong nationals not to be complacent and maintain good personal and environmental hygiene.
Several experts have confirmed the first case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reinfection in Hong Kong.
Based on the report, the 33-year-old patient got infected with COVID-19 in Hong Kong and recovered last April. However, he again tested positive for the virus mid-August after traveling to Spain and the United Kingdom.
Experts say he got infected with two different strains of the virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said the exact immune response time of a recovered COVID-19 patient is yet to be determined.
“What we are learning about infection is that people do develop an immune response and what is not completely clear yet is how strong that immune response is and for how long that immune response lasts,” according to WHO Health Emergencies Program Technical Lead Maria Van Kerhove.
However, the Department of Health (DOH) said they are still reviewing the reinfection situation.
“Tinitignan po natin at minamapa natin ang (We’re still looking into and mapping out the) international experiences, so that we can have appropriate evidence and we can give you accurate information,” DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
The DOH is also reviewing the cases of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año and Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, and that of Dr. Karen Senen who recently succumbed to COVID-19.
The Health Department reiterates the importance of following minimum health standards to prevent the spread of the virus. -AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
Britain announced on Monday (July 20) it will suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in an escalation of its dispute with China over the introduction of a national security law for the former British colony.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told parliament the extradition treaty will be suspended immediately and an arms embargo will be extended to Hong Kong.
“We will not consider reactivating those arrangements, unless and until, there are clear and robust safeguards, which are able to prevent extradition from the UK being misused under the new national security legislation,” Raab said.
The ban is another nail in the coffin of what then Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015 cast as a “golden era” of ties with China, the world’s second-largest economy.
London has been dismayed by a crackdown in Hong Kong, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997, and the perception that China did not tell the whole truth over the coronavirus outbreak.
Australia and Canada suspended extradition treaties with Hong Kong earlier this month. (Reuters)
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