Airlines advised rejecting passengers from nCoV-affected areas
The Immigration Commissioner of the Philippines, Jaime Morente appeared to the airline companies to cooperate and help to prevent entry into the country of travelers who recently visited China and its special administrative regions. This started after the Bureau of Immigration refuse to allow the entry of the 36 Chinese nationals that arrived at the Ninoy International Airport departing from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, via a Philippine Airlines flight.
The passengers were found out to have come from Macau on Saturday last week. As an immediate action, they were booked on the first available flight back to Phnom Penh.
There’s an existing travel ban imposed by the government wherein foreigners are not allowed to enter the country if they have been to China or its special administrative regions namely Hong Kong and Macau in the last 14 days as one of the precautions against the 2019 novel coronavirus or nCov.
Jaime Morente further reiterates that the airline companies should do their part in terms of implementing the travel ban and preventing the entry of foreigners from the given areas of concern. Besides, the governing body already instructed the airlines as well as shipping companies not to board passengers covered by the recent ban.
Following such an incident, Jaime Morente said that they were studying the possibility of imposing corresponding fines to those who will fail to act accordingly or violate the ban. Last week, the immigration authorities were able to turn back approximately 300 foreigners.
As an additional measure, both foreigners and Filipino passengers are now being required to fill out their arrival cards. Previously, only foreigners are task to do so while Filipinos only filled out embarkation cards. In that way, they can better assist the police and the health personnel in tracing down passengers alleged of being exposed to the disease that has sickened more than 31,000 people in 25 countries.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health is currently monitoring a total of 215 persons that might be infected with the virus. On the other hand, in Hong Kong, the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong urged the people to just view Masses online or to pray independently to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. For those who still want to attend Masses, they are required to wear face masks and keep a certain distance between themselves. To date, there are at least 18 confirmed cases of nCov in Hong Kong.