Chan favors temporarily ban of flights from China than 14-day quarantine at airport

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram February 01,2020 - 06:00 AM

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan. | CDND File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan said he was more favorable on banning direct flights to Cebu from China than placing travelers in a 14-day quarantine.

In a press conference on Friday, January 31, Chan told reporters that he found it hard for the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to house at least 14,000 travelers at one time.

“In our end, it’s difficult (to implement at 14-day quarantine),” said Chan in Cebuano.

The MCIA, the country’s second busiest airport, is located in Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan Island.

According to Chan, there are at least 1,000 passengers from China who arrive at MCIA daily.

“If we’re going to compute, that will result to a total of 14,000 people in 14 days. Can you imagine (that)? Where are we going to place all these people? I don’t know if we’re ready to assist that volume of passengers,” said Chan in a mix of Cebuano and English.

“[This is why] we’re more favorable to temporarily ban these flights. Our concern is where to place these passengers. Take note that these flights will only be suspended temporarily. Hopefully, when there’s a cure of the virus, and this will be cleared, those flights will resume,” he added.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia expressed intentions to place all travelers coming from China under a 14-day quarantine.

READ MORE: Gwen on n-CoV threat: Mandatory quarantine instead of stopping flights from China

Garcia, in an earlier interview, said they were planning to coordinate with the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH – 7) in coming up with the facilities to house the passengers.

The governor, however, is firm on not banning travelers from mainland China except those from Hubei province where the epicenter of the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV-ARD), Wuhan City, is located.

This despite facing a huge backlash from the public.

Garcia reiterated that she did not have the capacity to impose a total ban of travelers from China, citing that such decision would lie on the President since it involved foreign relations./dbs

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TAGS: 2019 - novel coronavirus, airport, Chinese tourists, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Ahong Chan, Mactan, MCIA, Wuhan City

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