DIRECT flight between Davao City and Jinjiang City in China will be suspended as a preventive measure against the ongoing outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

In an official statement, the Chinese Consulate General in Davao announced on its Facebook page that the dirrect flight between two cities will be suspended for now until both parties will come to a consensus in resuming the said flight.

“Considering the current pneumonia epidemic caused by the new coronavirus, and in order to ensure public health and safety, the Davao City Government through the City Mayor’s Office, the Chinese Consulate General in Davao, and Xiamen Airlines have decided through friendly consultations that after the implementation of the Jinjiang-Davao-Jinjiang flights on February 2 and 5, the subsequent flights will be suspended until the epidemic situation improves and when the parties have come to consensus to resume the said flight,” the consulate said on its online post on Friday, January 31.

However, on Saturday, February 1, the consul said Xiamen Airlines has released a travel advisory to cancel all Jinjiang-Davao direct flights for the whole month of February, including the supposed flights on Feb 2 and 5.

The direct flight between two cities started in December 2018, following the forging of sisterhood agreement between the two government in the same year.

A Xiamen Air plane from Jinjiang arrived in Davao City on Wednesday noon, carrying 79 passengers, including some Chinese tourists.

Bureau of Quarantine - Davao Region (BOQ-Davao) quarantine medical officer Dr. Wilson Lim said all passengers were cleared of fever.

Lim said they are strictly implementing tight measures to prevent the virus from entering the city.

The city currently has a direct flight to Hong Kong via Cathay Dragon. The said flight, as of Saturday, has not yet been suspended.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, January 31, has issued a temporary travel ban covering all travelers coming from Hubei Province of China.

“DOH (Department of Health) will also be recommending the expansion of the travel ban coverage to more Chinese provinces as new information on the increasing number of cases per region arises,” the health office said in its official Facebook page.

The 2019-nCoV was recently discovered in Wuhan, a province of Hubei in China, wherein clinical signs and symptoms of the patients reported in this cluster are mainly fever, with a few patients having difficulty in breathing and chest radiography showing bilateral lung infiltrates.

The Philippine Government, upon the recommendation of DOH, has issued a temporary travel ban covering all travellers coming from Hubei Province of China.

However, calls for a total ban from all areas in China are being pushed.

In Davao City, some Dabawenyos have been urging the city government to issue a travel ban to all Chinese nationals, as a preventive measure from the spreading of the virus.

The local government, however, has not yet declared a travel ban but instead urged travelers from China to self-medicate and have a medical check-up if medical symptoms related to nCoV are felt.

In a DOH data as of January 31, 2020, 12 p.m., the number of Patients Under Investigation (PUI’s) in the Philippines reached 31.

Of the number, 23 are presently confined in hospitals, six discharged, one confirmed as 2019-nCoV, and one died but not due to the virus.

In Davao Region, there is one being investigated, but DOH-Davao director Annabelle Yumang said it is not yet confirmed, and the region is still “nCoV-free”.