JANUARY 23, 2020 — The country’s Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) on Thursday suspended all flights to and from Wuhan City in China, the epicenter of the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has killed nearly 20 people and hospitalized more than 600 other.
The suspension comes after China tried to quarantine three cities, including Wuhan where the airborne virus originated.
“This is a matter of public interest so the board decided to suspend the charter operation between Wuhan and all points of the Philippines until further notice,” said CAB Director Carmelo Arcilla.
The decision to suspend came after the inter-agency meeting with the Bureau of Quarantine, the Department of Health (DOH), as well as airline representatives.
Arcilla said the CAB will continue to monitor the situation in coordination with the Health department and will act accordingly with updates regarding other Chinese cities.
The World Health Organization has also said Wuhan is under lockdown to keep its citizens contained within the city, according to the DOH.
The same city has also announced closure of its transport networks and advised citizens not to leave the city, state media reported on Thursday.
The mysterious and currently spreading novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV was first detected in Wuhan in December 2019.
The virus has infected more than 600 and spread all over Asia and even reached as far as the United States.
There have been 17 confirmed deaths of novel coronavirus patients but authorities have yet to confirm whether the virus itself causes death. (Nicole Dacanay/MM)
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