4 Chinese nationals exposed to new coronavirus before Manila arrival found: DOJ

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2020 01:14 PM | Updated as of Jan 23 2020 03:51 PM

Passengers arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, where they are screened for fever and flu symptoms. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - The immigration bureau has tracked down 4 Chinese nationals who were exposed to a person who had tested positive for the new coronavirus before traveling to Manila, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Thursday.

The tourists flew to Manila from Hong Kong on Wednesday, authorities said, and are relatives of a Chinese man who tested positive for the new strain of the coronavirus after traveling from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the outbreak began. 

The immigration bureau, in a statement, said it has identified the Chinese nationals.

"We are, however, unable to share further details to the public as we will be forwarding this information to the Bureau of Quarantine for their information and their monitoring," it said.

The Department of Health earlier said all passengers in the flight that carried the Chinese man's family did not show any symptoms.

"There was nobody exhibiting symptoms. There was no fever, no one showing upper respiratory tract infection so everybody was allowed to enter the country," DOH spokesman Enrique Domingo told ANC.

Passengers aboard Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 111 that flew from Hong Kong to Manila Wednesday were also advised by the airline to seek medical attention if they exhibit flu-like symptoms including runny nose, cough, sore throat or fever "as a precautionary measure.

Domingo urged the public to consult a doctor if they have any history of travel to China, particularly to Wuhan, or exposure to people who have the illness as some patients may enter the country healthy and later show signs and symptoms.

The Philippines has started screening passengers arriving at the capital's main airport for fever and flu symptoms, after the new coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan, China and has claimed the lives of at least 17 people and sickened hundreds.

China already halted flights and trains from Thursday out of Wuhan, the city of 11 million people at the center of a deadly SARS-like virus outbreak, as the UN extended emergency talks on the disease.

--With a report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News