300 foreigners mostly Chinese await repatriation, BI says
The Bureau of Immigration said on Monday about 300 foreigners, mostly Chinese, have been stranded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and awaiting repatriation.
In a press briefing in Malacanang, Immigration Spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the immigration bureau is coordinating with the Chinese Embassy to fetch their nationals who were barred in the country following President Rodrigo Duterte's directive on Sunday to ban foreigners coming from China and its special administrative regions to prevent the spread of deadly novel coronavirus in the country.
"Yes, that’s true. There are around 300 Chinese nationals who are stranded in NAIA because most of the airlines have cancelled their flights already to and from the different parts of China. But our office is coordinating with the Chinese embassy, and they have pledged to send an aircraft to fetch their citizens who are stranded in the country," she said.
She said the other foreigners who arrived Sunday in the country and have history of travel in China, Hong Kong and Macau during the past 14 days were sent back to their port of origin.
Sandoval could not give details as to the estimated number of barred travelers.
Under Duterte's directive, only Filipino citizens and those holders of permanent resident visa are allowed to enter in the country but they have to undergo a 14-day quarantine to ensure that they are not covonavirus carriers.
Local carriers Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have also canceled their flights to China, Hong Kong and Macau following Duterte's travel ban order.
The nCoV originated from Wuhan City, capital of Hubei province in China.
According to the World Health Organization, there were already 17,000 cases of nCoV and vast majority are in China.
The outbreak also resulted in the death of 362 people, all of then in China, except one from the Philippines, a Chinese national who came from Wuhan. Celerina Monte/DMS