3 NAIA staff infected with COVID-19

Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal said Thursday three employees of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) tested positive for novel disease (COVID-19).

Monreal said those who acquired the respiratory disease worked as airport police. “Tatlo po yan. ‘Yan po ay base sa aming pagtatala,” he said in a virtual press briefing.

(There are 3 based on our records.)

One of the infected NAIA employees has already recovered from COVID-19, Monreal added.

He assured the passengers that MIAA is imposing precautionary measures against the pandemic in Philippine airports.

Also read: IATF epidemiologist warns ‘3rd wave’ of coronavirus after lockdown

Reopening of airports eyed in GCQ areas

“The protocols that we are implementing ay ayon po sa mga direktiba ng ating mga eksperto (is based on the directive of experts),” he said.

Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said authorities should “seriously consider” to reopen the airports in GCQ (general community quarantine) areas.

Tugade said reopening the airports would help the domestic tourism amid the disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) earlier said it is looking at allowing domestic after the ECQ and GCQ to help the tourism industry in the Philippines.

“The reopening of airports in GCQ areas to commercial aviation will gradually jump-start airline operations now hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. This will plant the seeds for domestic tourism. This should seriously be considered,” Tugade said.

General Jim Sydiongco, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director, said airlines are now capable of mounting inter-island flights to and from areas under general community quarantine.

“We want to operationalize this approach before the end of next week but of course without compromising health and safety protocols set by the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) and the Department of Health. Pag-iisipan namin kung paano ito maisasagawa ng maayos at mabilis,” Tugade said.

Sea travel, passenger trips also considered

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said Wednesday it is now looking at reopening sea travel, including passenger trips in areas under GCQ or general community as revenues dropped 79% in March.

PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago said they are now coordinating with local government units (LGUs) to check if passenger trips may be allowed.

Total revenues were recorded at P18.532 billion in 2019, up by 5% from P17.5 billion in 2018.