MANILA - Cebu Pacific on Thursday urged passengers of a Hong Kong-Manila flight, where the family of a man who tested positive from the China novel coronavirus strain allegedly flew to Manila in, to seek medical help if flu-like symptoms occur.
Passengers aboard Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 111 that flew from Hong Kong to Manila Wednesday were advised to seek medical attention if they exhibit flu-like symptoms including runny nose, cough, sore throat or fever "as a precautionary measure," Cebu Pacific said in a statement.
In a press conference, Hong Kong Health Minister Sophia Chan earlier confirmed that the patient’s four family members flew from Hong Kong to Manila via Cebu Pacific 5J111, which landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 1:20 p.m. Wednesday.
The aircraft used for the flight has been disinfected following a standard practice for all inbound international flights, it said.
The airline, however, clarified no passengers of the said flight were held at the airport.
"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. Nonetheless, we are trying to coordinate with Hong Kong authorities to verify information in media reports," Cebu Pacific said.
Travelers are encouraged to take preventive measures to avoid the spread of the virus that allegedly originated from Wuhan in China.
Cebu Pacific advised passengers to practice the following:
- 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
Philippine Airlines is also "closely monitoring" reports on the China novel coronavirus although it does not operate flights to Wuhan, it said in a separate advisory.
PAL Passengers were advised to follow preventive measures as recommended by the Bureau of Quarantine and the World Health Organization (WHO):
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water and use alcohol-based hand rub
- Cover mouth with tissue when coughing/sneezing
- Avoid close contact with anyone with colds or flu-like symptoms
- Thoroughly cook eggs and meat
- Avoid unprotected contact with wild or farm animals
- Drink plenty of water
- Use a face mask for added protection
Passengers experiencing respiratory problems, cough and colds, flu, high body temperature, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing were advised to postpone their trips and to seek medical help immediately.
Airports worldwide have tightened security protocols following reports that some 440 in China have been affected by the deadly virus.
China had reportedly stopped flights to and from Wuhan, home to close to 11 million people, to curb the spread of the virus.