6 co-passengers of nCoV couple show flu symptoms

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

SIX passengers who were on the same flights as the 2019 novel coronavirus-positive Chinese couple have manifested symptoms of flu and respiratory infection, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said on Thursday, February 6.

In a statement, the CIDG said three were on Cebu Pacific flight DG 6519 from Cebu to Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental on January 21, 2020.

Three others were on Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight PR 2452 from Dumaguete City to Manila on January 25, 2020. They have been placed under quarantine in various hospitals.

The couple had also taken Cebu Pacific flight 5J 241 from Hong Kong to Cebu, arriving at the Mactan Cebu International Airport also on January 21.

The CIDG said there were 61 passengers on the Cebu Pacific flight to Dumaguete and 132 on the PAL flight. The CIDG has yet to locate 38 passengers on the Cebu Pacific flight.

“All passengers who have been contacted by the CIDG were advised to avoid unnecessary contact with people and stay at home as much as possible. They were also asked to monitor themselves for fever, colds and cough; and observe proper hygiene, to wear masks and immediately contact the Department of Health (DOH) if they experience any signs and symptoms of respiratory infection,” the CIDG said.

It said the communication center established by the CIDG-NCR field Unit together with the PNP-Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) tasked to locate the passengers who may have had contact with the Chinese couple is continuously in search of possible ways to trace the other passengers.

The CIDG is continuously coordinating with the Department of Health for the proper disposition of persons who manifested signs and symptoms of nCoV.

CIDG Director Joel Coronel earlier said there were a total of 331 passengers on three flights that the Chinese couple took from Hong Kong to Cebu, Cebu to Dumaguete, and Dumaguete to Manila.

The CIDG is trying to locate all passengers within 48 hours from Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

The Chinese couple arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport in Cebu on January 21, 2020 from Hong Kong. Both had originally come from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus outbreak.

The man has died, becoming the first fatality outside China, while the woman is in stable condition at the San Lazaro Hospital. (SunStar Philippines)