Family of patient who tested positive for Wuhan virus in Hong Kong lands in Manila

A thermal imaging machine scans arrivals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for possible signs of illness. <i>Photo: Mark Demayo/ABS-CBN News</i>
A thermal imaging machine scans arrivals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for possible signs of illness. Photo: Mark Demayo/ABS-CBN News

The family of a Chinese man who preliminarily tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus in Hong Kong touched down in Manila yesterday afternoon, with airline officials now encouraging anyone who was on board the plane to seek medical attention if they begin to experience flu-like symptoms associated with the mysterious illness.

Hong Kong health officials have said that the man’s four family members arrived on board Cebu Pacific flight 5J111, which landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at 1:20pm yesterday. However, Charo Lagamon, the airline’s corporate communications head, told ABS-CBN News that no one on that flight was quarantined by the authorities, and that all passengers and crew from that flight passed the screening by the Bureau of Quarantine at NAIA.

“None of them were held for further observation. Nonetheless, we are trying to coordinate with Hong Kong authorities to verify information in media reports,” she said.

Read: Update: 3 Boracay-bound Chinese undergo tests to prevent spread of deadly coronavirus

The airline also advised the passengers of flight 5J111 “to immediately seek medical attention should they exhibit flu-like symptoms including runny nose, cough, sore throat or fever.”

Despite their successfully passing through screening, Philippine authorities are now looking for the family of the Chinese patient, GMA News reports.

The 39-year-old Chinese patient arrived in Hong Kong from Wuhan on Tuesday, and preliminarily tested positive for the novel coronavirus yesterday. Though the man has been isolated at the city’s Princess Margaret Hospital, Hong Kong Health Secretary Sophia Chan said his family were asymptomatic and had already left the city for Manila by the time the preliminary tests came back.

At present, there have been nearly 600 patients infected with the SARS-like disease, with 17 people dying in Hubei province. Officially known as 2019-nCoV, the disease was first reported in December and has been linked to a Wuhan seafood market, which has since been shut down. After the disease quickly spread to other parts of China — and to several other countries in the region, as well as the United States — Chinese authorities put the entire city of Wuhan on lockdown today, the SCMP reports.

Here in the Philippines, a 5-year-old Chinese boy arrived in Cebu City earlier this week and tested positive for coronavirus, though it’s still unclear whether it’s the 2019-nCoV strain, and authorities are still waiting on lab results from Australia for confirmation. The boy’s mother, who accompanied him, is reportedly not displaying any symptoms of the disease.

 


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