Cebu Pacific tracks down co-passengers of Philippines' 2 confirmed 2019-nCoV patients


Posted at Feb 02 2020 04:18 PM | Updated as of Feb 02 2020 08:25 PM

MANILA - Cebu Pacific on Sunday said it is coordinating with Philippine health authorities in tracking down passengers of its two flights taken last Jan. 21 by two Chinese nationals who were found later to be infected with the novel coronavirus.

In a statement, the country's largest carrier said it is working with the Department of Health, the Bureau of Quarantine, and the National Epidemiology Center to contact passengers of flights 5J 241 (Hong Kong-Cebu) and DG 6519 (Cebu-Dumaguete) last Jan. 21.

The statement was issued after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced earlier in the day that a companion of the Philippines' first confirmed case - a 38-year-old Chinese woman - tested positive as well for the 2019-nCoV and died on Saturday.

The second case involved a 44-year-old Chinese man, who, as with the first case, came from the Chinese city of Wuhan where the new coronavirus originated. It is the first reported novel coronavirus-related death outside of China.

"Passengers on the above-mentioned flights who have not been contacted are requested to contact Cebu Pacific via +632 87020886," Cebu Pacific said.

"We also advise them to seek immediate medical attention if they have flu-like symptoms such as coughing, colds and fever," it added, noting that the flights' cabin crew and pilots have already been placed on quarantine, and the aircraft used for both flights have undergone thorough disinfection.

Philippine Airlines earlier said it was also cooperating with the DOH and BOQ in contacting the fellow passengers of the 38-year-old confirmed patient on flight PR 2542, from Dumaguete to Manila, last Jan. 25.

The flight's two pilots and four cabin crew were also placed on quarantine.

Cebu Pacific has since canceled all its flights between the Philippines and China (Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen) until March 29, while flights to and from Hong Kong and Macau have been reduced.

Passengers may rebook their flights, refund the tickets in full, or store the value of the ticket in a travel fund for future use, according to the airline.

The Philippines on Sunday prohibited travel to and from China. Filipinos who return home from Beijing and its territories are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.