CebuPac Flight 5J111 passengers urged to seek medical advice for nCov infection

Marje Pelayo   •   January 24, 2020   •   1252

picture made available on 17 July 2014 of a Cebu Pacific Air aircraft and rain clouds on the runway at Clark International Airport, once the US Air force base, near Angeles City, the Philippines, 26 June 2014. Cebu Pacific Air offers domestic and international destinations with its main base at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila and hubs throughout the Philippines including Clark International Airport. EPA/BARBARA WALTON/FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Budget airline Cebu Pacific is calling on all passengers of Flight 5J111 from Hong Kong to Manila which arrived on Wednesday (January 22), to seek medical attention should they exhibit flu-like symptoms amid the outbreak of novel coronavirus (nCov).

In its advisory, the airline said it has been alerted by reports from Hong Kong media that four passengers aboard the said flight may have been exposed to a person infected by nCov.

The management, however, assured that “all passengers and the crew aboard the flight were screened by the Bureau of Quarantine upon arrival in Manila, and none of them were held for further observation.”

To verify, the airline is now coordinating with Hong Kong authorities regarding the media reports.

Nevertheless, CebuPac advises its passengers aboard the said flight to “immediately seek medical attention should they exhibit flu-like symptoms including runny nose, cough, sore throat or fever.”

“We have also disinfected the aircraft following our standard practice for all inbound international flights,” the airline assured.

“We are closely monitoring the spread of the Wuhan virus, and have precautionary measures in place for our flights,” the statement read further.

Meanwhile, airline passengers are urged to take the following precautionary measures and maintain good hygiene and strong immune system so as not to contract the virus.

• Frequent handwashing with soap and water
• Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Using a face mask
• Postponing air travel if feeling unwell. Health experts recommend travelers stay home a minimum of 24 hours after a fever subsides

Philippines receives additional 1.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccine from China

Marje Pelayo   •   May 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Onboard Cebu Pacific chartered flight 5J671, additional 1.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccine from China arrived at Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at exactly 7:58 AM on Friday (May 7).

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. joined in the welcoming of the vaccines.

So far, the shipment is the highest volume of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine delivered and the seventh batch from China to arrive in the country.

The vaccines were immediately loaded on refrigerated trucks for transportation to a third-party storage facility of the Department of Health (DOH) in Marikina City.

Philippines hopes Hong Kong won’t single out OFWs in compulsory COVID-19 vaccination

Robie de Guzman   •   May 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government on Monday expressed hope that Hong Kong authorities will not single out overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in its plan to make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for foreign domestic workers.

While the Philippine government welcomes a state’s prerogative to require vaccination, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Filipino migrant workers should not be singled out.

“Alam niyo po ang equal protection clause is not just a provision in the Philippine Bill of Rights, it is accepted already in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights at sakop po ng kanyang applicability ang Hong Kong,” Roque said in an online briefing

“Sana po ‘wag i-single put ang ating mga OFW bagama’t we recognize yung sovereign prerogative na i-require ang bakuna,” he added.

“We have an early 1905 case na sinustain po ng korte suprema ng Pilipinas ang mandatory vaccination against smallpox as a form in part and parcel of police power pero pati po ang exercise of power must be done in a manner na lahat po ng tao ay sasakupin. Wag naman pong magkaroon ng singling out,” he further stated.

Earlier media reports stated that Hong Kong health officials are planning to make COVID-19 testing and vaccination mandatory for some 370,000 domestic helpers before they can renew their contract.

The plan comes after two migrant workers were found infected with the more virulent variant of the novel coronavirus disease.

Groups of migrant workers in Hong Kong have criticized the plan, saying it is “discriminatory and unjust.”

Phl Consulate General in HK to appeal proposed mandatory vaccination for domestic workers

Marje Pelayo   •   May 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —  The Hong Kong government is planning to impose a new policy requiring domestic helpers to get anti-COVID jab before they are allowed to work there.

This new policy follows the Hong Kong government’s order on mandatory swab testing among domestic helpers after two foreign workers tested positive for a more contagious variant of COVID-19.

But according to Philippine Consulate General Rally Tejada, the new policy would discriminate against domestic helpers as it is exclusively directed to their sector.

“It would have been better if concerned consulate generals like the Philippines, Indonesia, and other countries of origin were consulted on this matter as it involves the substantive rights of our nationals,” he said.

“If vaccination becomes a condition to work in Hong Kong, then its application should be non-discriminatory so that there is no feeling among our foreign domestic workers that they are being singled out. Maraming non-residents [workers] din na similarly situated so bakit sila lang (There are many non-resident workers who are similarly situated, so why just them [domestic workers])?” he said.

Tejada said they will try to appeal the proposed policy even though the Hong Kong government has yet to announce its implementation.

Wala pang date ng implementation ang mandatory vaccination sa mga mag-renew ng visa  (There’s no date yet for the implementation of mandatory vaccination among those who wish to renew their visa) so we will try to convince the Hong Kong government to keep vaccination voluntary at huwag gawing kondisyon para makapagtrabaho (and not make it mandatory as a prerequisite for employment),” Tejada noted.

Currently, there are around 370,000 Filipinos living and working in Hong Kong.  Of this number, more than 200,000 are foreign domestic workers, the Philippine Consulate General said.

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