Cebu Pacific, PAL help trace seatmates of confirmed coronavirus patient

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2020 03:26 PM

MANILA - Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific said Friday they were helping authorities trace passengers who sat near the Philippines' first confirmed case of the new coronavirus, a Chinese woman from the outbreak's epicenter.

Two pilots and 4 cabin crew on the Philippine Airlines flight that the 38-year-old woman from Wuhan took were quarantined, the airline said. 

Pilots and crew on the flights that carried the woman show no symptoms of the new strain. Aircraft used on the flights were disinfected, Cebu Pacific said.

"We are in the process of contacting passengers seated in the vicinity of the positive NCoV patient and are taking the necessary precautions to inform them so they can have themselves checked in case they show flu-like symptoms," it said.

Cebu Pacific earlier said it was reducing flight frequencies to mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau until March 29.

The World Health Organization declared a global emergency after the death toll in China breached 200 as the total number of cases neared 10,000.

Philippine Airlines jets on China routes undergo daily disinfection. Specific aircraft were also assigned for the China routes with their designated parking in "remote areas" of NAIA, the airline said.

Filtering systems in aircraft "protect against most coronaviruses," PAL said. Cabin crew wear face masks which are also available to passengers on request.