PH health chief orders quarantine team, Cebu Pacific to trace passengers from Wuhan

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Screenshot of the man who tested positive for nCoV-2019 according to preliminary tests

The Philippine Department of Health secretary said he had ordered the Bureau of Quarantine to meet again with Cebu Pacific officials so they can carefully and quickly trace the passengers from Wuhan who arrived in the Philippines on Jan.21.

DOH chief Francisco Duque III said this in an interview with CNN Philippines on Jan.23, after his Hong Kong counterpart Health Secretary Sophia Chan said that four family members of the man who tested positive for the novel coronavirus (nCoV) in Hong Kong flew to Manila.

The 39-year-old male from the mainland arrived in Hong Kong on Jan.21 via G5607 Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and showed signs of a fever. He stayed behind in Hong Kong but his four family members proceeded to fly to Manila via Cebu Pacific flight 5J 111 and arrived on Jan.22.

The man is the first case of 2019-nCoV infection in Hong Kong, preliminary tests showed. A confirmatory test has been conducted, however and results are expected to come out today.

Duque earlier said that the Bureau of Quarantine had “no encounter” with the four family members of the man from mainland China.

The Cebu Pacific said the Bureau of Quarantine has screened all passengers and crew members from the said flight upon arrival in Manila, and none of them were held for further observation and checking.

The Philippines is still waiting for the results of the test of a suspected case of 2019-nCoV involving a 5-year-old boy who came from Wuhan.

The novel coronavirus has infected 571 people in China, 17 of whom have died.

Cases on 2019-nCov infection have also been reported in the US, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Macau and Japan.