Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) confirmed that 135 passengers coming from the city of Wuhan in China have entered the Philippines on Jan. 23. The Chinese arrived in Boracay just hours after China lockdown and quarantined the central Wuhan, the place where the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus began.  

Based on the report, the passengers flew to the Philippines via the Royal Air Charter flight that left Wuhan a few hours before the Chinese officials ordered a lockdown. They left China around 6 a.m. and arrived at Kalibo International Airport a few hours after.

“There are people from Wuhan who landed (in the Philippines) but our quarantine personnel at the airport were vigilant, Eric Apolonia, CAAP spokesperson, told GMA News. “They scan passengers with a thermal scanner before they step out of the plane.”

The aviation authority added that every week, Kalibo usually receives six direct flights from Wuhan via Pan Pacific Airline and Royal Air Charter. In any case, the Filipinos slammed the officials for allowing the Chinese nationals from Wuhan to enter the country. They are saying that this is beyond stupidity since they are putting the Filipinos at risk plus it is not helping in preventing the spread of the virus. 

Alvin Llum, a political journalist specializing in Hong Kong's political and justice system, stated on Jan. 23 that some Hong Kong officials slammed the government for its slow response in addressing the mysterious coronavirus. He also mentioned the instance that HK allowed the infected patient’s family to travel. 

“Pro-democracy lawmakers, all wearing face masks, criticized the government’s incompetence and slow response in handling the new coronavirus,” he tweeted. “In particular, they allowed a Wuhan Man’s family to board a plane to Manila, Philippines.”

The Department of Health (DOH) insisted that the virus has not reached the Philippines yet despite the reports that a five-year-old boy who entered the country from Wuhan on Jan. 12 tested positive for a still unknown coronavirus. It was said that the DOH is still waiting for the results of tests that were done in Australia. 

Meanwhile, the Philippines banned all flights to and from Wuhan. CNN reported that after holding a special meeting on Thursday, the Civil Aviation Board decided to stop all flights for an indefinite time. 

Finally, it appears that the 135 passengers were not quarantined as no one exhibited any symptoms of being afflicted with the new virus. Eusebio Monserate Jr., CAAP officer at the Kalibo International Airport, relayed that the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines will decide on how to deal and what to do with the 135 passengers from Wuhan.