By Macon Araneta
Sen. Imee Marcos on February 10 warned that the 14-day quarantine period being implemented by the Philippine government to avert the possible spread of novel coronavirus would be useless with the continuous arrival of flights from China.
She stressed that flights that continue to arrive from China are testing the limits of a mandatory quarantine to avoid the virus transmission.
Marcos cited that airports in Manila, Cebu, Clark, Davao and Kalibo took in at least 15 direct flights from the cities of Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanning and Wuxi on February 9.
She said local airlines with recorded landings included Royal Air Philippines and Philippines Air Asia, while foreign airlines included Cathay Pacific / Cathay Dragon, China Southern Airlines and Hong Kong Airlines.
She listed the direct flights from China as follows:
Hong Kong Landed at 11:10 Cathay Pacific
Guangzhou Landed at 12:03 China Southern Airlines
Hong Kong Landed at 18:44 Cathay Pacific
Hong Kong Landed at 10:01 Cathay Pacific
Hong Kong Landed at 15:38 Cathay Pacific
Nanning Landed at 06:04 Royal Air Philippines
Wuxi Landed at 07:50 Royal Air Philippines
Hong Kong Landed at 05:23 Hong Kong Airlines
Hong Kong Landed at 10:56 Cathay Pacific
Guangzhou Landed at 06:14 Philippines Air Asia
Guangzhou Landed at 10:38 China Southern Airlines
Guangzhou Landed at 16:00 China Southern Airlines
Hong Kong Landed at 18:35 Cathay Pacific
Shenzhen Landed at 23:10 Philippines Air Asia
Guangzhou Landed at 22:30 China Southern Airlines
The Senator said quarantine guidelines for local government units (LGUs) were rushed last Thursday, days after the government banned the entry of non-resident foreigners and imposed a quarantine on Filipinos and Philippine permanent resident visa holders returning from or via China and its special administrative regions.
Marcos urged LGUs to speed up the creation and staffing of barangay isolation units.
She also called on them to strictly monitor returning residents who choose voluntary home confinement, in accordance with guidelines from the Department of Health and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
“Kailangan tutukan kung aling mga LGU ang sumusunod at kung sino ang mga pasawaypara hindi tayo mapako sa sisihan at hindi na lumaki ang problema natin sa nCoV,” Marcos said.
Marcos added that the Bureau of Immigration has a duty to inform local government officials on their returning residents.