Philippines – Last batch of tourists from Wuhan flown back to China

Royal Air Charter operates direct flights to and from Wuhan and Kalibo from Mondays to Saturdays. (File photo by Daniel Jude Aguirre).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 26) — The last batch of tourists from the city of Wuhan — the epicenter of the new strain of coronavirus — has been sent back to China, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

The agency’s spokesperson Eric Apolonio confirmed Sunday that 156 Chinese nationals have left Kalibo International Airport onboard a Royal Air Charter flight. Apolonio said this is the last flight from Kalibo back to Wuhan.

Civil Aviation Board Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla earlier said that close to 500 Chinese tourists who arrived in Kalibo, Aklan from Wuhan will be transported back to their point of origin this week despite the Chinese city being on lockdown.

Arcilla said the airlines have the clearance to repatriate the foreigners because they are Wuhan residents.

None of them had to be quarantined and referred for hospital care as they did not show the symptoms of infection of the new coronavirus strain, which the World Health Organization refers to as 2019-nCoV. Among the symptoms of the infection include fever and coughing.

Prior to the outbreak, Royal Air operated direct flights to and from Kalibo and Wuhan from Mondays to Saturdays, while Pan Pacific Airline served the flight route from Tuesdays to Sundays.

In a briefing Sunday, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said with help from the WHO and other countries they were confident they would be able to curb the spread of the virus.

By CNN Philippines Staffs