All flights coming from China, Hong Kong, and Macau are banned from the Philippines after Manila reported the death of a Wuhan coronavirus patient yesterday, the first fatal case of the illness outside China.
In a statement released by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea yesterday, Duterte officially barred entry to anyone traveling to the Philippines from any part of China — except for Filipino citizens and permanent residents — as well as to anyone who had visited any part of China in the past 14 days.
The government also ordered any returning Filipino or permanent resident who has been to China, Hong Kong, and Macau to be quarantined for 14 days. Duterte has also forbidden all Filipinos from traveling to China or any of its special administrative regions and called for the establishment of a quarantine facility. The president’s order is an expansion of his directive late last month to refuse entry to travelers coming from Hubei province, where Wuhan, ground zero of the novel coronavirus epidemic, is located.
Duterte’s order was announced just a few hours before the Department of Health (DOH) disclosed that a 44-year-old Chinese man had died of the novel coronavirus, officially called 2019-nCoV. The man is the partner of the 38-year-old Chinese woman who was the first confirmed case of 2019-nCoV in the country.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a presser yesterday that the man was first admitted to San Lazaro Hospital in Manila on Jan. 25 after experiencing pneumonia, fever, cough, and sore throat. In addition to 2019-nCoV, the patient was also infected with Influenza B virus and Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, CNN Philippines reports.
“Over the course of the patient’s admission, he developed severe pneumonia. In his last few days, the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement. However, the condition of the patient deteriorated within the last 24 hours resulting in his demise,” Duque said.
Duque said they will cremate the patient and are now working with the Chinese Embassy. He added that they are still tracing the passengers who had come into contact with the infected couple in Cebu, Dumaguete, and other places.
Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific yesterday has asked all passengers of Jan. 21 flights 5J 241 (Hong Kong to Cebu) and DG 6519 (Cebu to Dumaguete) to call the airline, Rappler reports. The couple traveled on those two flights, and passengers were urged to immediately seek medical attention if they develop flu-like symptoms.
Philippine Airlines have disclosed that the couple was also on board a Jan. 25 Dumaguete-to-Manila flight, PR 2542.