Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas penned letters last Friday to Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, and AirAsia requesting flights from areas affected by the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) be halted immediately. While Cebu Pacific flights between Hong Kong and Iloilo City will be suspended until March 29, following a request from Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr., the carrier still maintains flights between Iloilo City and Singapore.
“We are calling for Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia to voluntarily cease their flights from Singapore and other areas with positive novel coronavirus cases,” the mayor said in an interview with the City Hall press corps.
He also acknowledged Kalibo International Airport is still receiving international flights.
“Kon mag ginutok to sila sa Kalibo kag may magmasakit, waay naman na sila iban nga kadtuan kundi diri man gihapon sa aton (If Kalibo is crowded and somebody gets sick, they have nowhere else to go but here),” Treñas explained. “Para maaksyunan na nila dayun because we are also concern because gina proteksyunan ta di ang aton pumoluyo dasun sige ila pa pasulod (They should take action immediately since we are concerned about our residents but they continue to allow flights to enter).”
Meanwhile, the mayor also wrote a letter to Department of Health-Region VI (DOH-6) director, Dr. Marlyn Convocar, to recommend the Western Visayas Medical Center be designated as a containment facility for patients under investigation for nCoV.
According to Treñas, the city does not operate any hospitals and the nine private hospitals, along with the sole state-managed facility, is equipped with one to two isolation units, which he said is “not enough.”/WDJ