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HK suspends Cebu Pacific for flying in 3 DHs with Covid-19

30 December 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Cebu Pac passenger flights from Manila have been halted until Jan 12

Cebu Pacific Airways flight 5J272 from Manila has been banned from flying into Hong Kong for two weeks starting today, Dec 30, after three of its passengers yesterday tested positive on their arrival test.

The infected passengers who are 26, 28 and 61 years of age, are all foreign domestic helpers and asymptomatic. They were among 12 confirmed cases reported today.

The two older women both carried the N501Y mutant strain, indicating they are likely carriers of the highly infectious Omicron variant, while the test result on the other one is still pending.


Yesterday, another Filipina domestic helper who flew in on 5J272 on Dec 28 also tested positive for coronavirus with likely Omicron, the first such case from the Philippines.

The flight suspension disrupted travel plans of several people scheduled to take the flight from Manila over the next couple of days.

One netizen, Susan J. Base, said in a post on The SUN's Facebook page that her daughter’s Cebu Pacific flight to Hong Kong today was cancelled at the last minute so they had to buy another ticket from Philippine Airlines.


Another would-be passenger, Eileen Bautista, also said she just received word that her flight on Jan 2 has been canceled. However, Marvy who said she was due to fly on 5J272 tomorrow, had yet to receive word from the airline about the flight cancellation.

The two-week suspension will last until Jan 12. In the meantime, both Cathay Pacific and PAL are still able to operate passenger flights from Manila to Hong Kong.

Cebu Pacific is just one of two airlines suspended from flying passengers to Hong Kong starting today.

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Also banned is flight AY101 by Finnair. Its Dec 27 flight from Helsinki, Finland on Dec 27 carried one passenger who tested positive on arrival while two others did not comply with pre-boarding requirements.

The same infraction was reportedly committed by flight TK083 operated by Turkish Airlines. Its Dec 28 flight from Istanbul, Turkey, had one passenger who tested positive on arrival while two passengers did not comply with requirements.

Two other passengers on the AY101 flight were among those confirmed today to have Covid-19. Both are males, aged 28 and 46, and had been staying at Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre when they were found infected.

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The test result of the older man is pending while the viral load of the younger’s specimen was not enough for variant testing.

The TK083 passenger on Dec 28, on the other hand, is a 43-year-old man who first took off from Brazil, then Turkey. He carried the N501Y mutant strain.

3 more aircrew came in with Covid-19 from different places

Among the other passengers are three air crew members.

One is a 59-year-old man who flew in from Sweden, Ukraine and the United States via 7W7005 on Dec 28, and tested positive for the N501Y strain.

Another is 24-year-old man who came from Portugal, Italy and the US on Dec 29 via UO724. The viral load in his specimen was not sufficient for variant testing.

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The third is a 32-year-old man who came from the US, Germany and Bahrain on 3S520 on Dec 29. The test result on his specimen is pending.

Also among the passengers is a one-year-old baby boy who tested positive for the mutated virus at a public hospital where he was taken after two family members were previously detected to have Covid-19. They all flew in from Pakistan and the UAE on Dec 22 on board EK384.

The two remaining passengers are a 48-year-old man who came from US and Japan on NH811 on Dec 28 and a 28-year-old man who flew in from Thaialnd aboard UO724 on Dec. 29.

The new cases raised Hong Kong’s total Covid-19 tally to 12,631, which includes one probable case.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Health Protection also reported that 11 more Omicron cases were detected after full genome sequencing by the Department of Health’s public laboratory. They took Hong Kong's total tally for the new variant of concern to 81.

These cases involved eight males and three females, aged 21 to 59 years old. Four of them tested positive on arrival at the airport while four were found infected during quarantine.

The three others were air cargo crew who had gone home in line with regulations after testing negative at the airport, but were later found infected during compulsory testing at community testing centres.


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