Thursday, March 26, 2020

PAF plane rescues stranded Russians in Dumaguete

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 25, 2020): PAF plane rescues stranded Russians in Dumaguete (By Mary Judaline Partlow)

RESCUE MISSION. Seventeen Russians and a Filipino woman, who is the wife of one of the foreigners, were flown out of Negros Oriental on Wednesday afternoon (March 25, 2020) on board a Philippine Air Force aircraft. This is the first "sweeper flight" provided by government to rescue foreigners who were stranded due to travel restrictions so they can return to their countries of origin. (Photo courtesy of CAAP-Negros Oriental)

A Philippine Air Force (PAF) plane on Thursday afternoon landed at the Sibulan-Dumaguete airport here to pick up stranded foreigners so they can return to their respective countries of origin.

Mark Diamaoden, airport manager and chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in Negros Oriental, said those rescued were 17 Russians and a Filipino woman who is the wife of one of the foreign nationals.

He said this was the first “sweeper flight” to arrive here, as tourism officials from the province, cities, and municipalities in Negros Oriental are helping to facilitate the departure of the stranded foreigners.

Diamaoden said that similar “sweeper flights” have already landed in Siquijor for stranded foreign nationals although he still has to receive a report from that island-province, which is still part of his jurisdiction.

The PAF CASA-C212 was scheduled to land at the Mactan Cebu International Airport in Cebu, he said.

The airport manager explained that while there are no longer commercial flights here, exemptions include flights on a humanitarian mission, sweeper flights, and medical evacuation, among others.

He confirmed that arrangements were earlier made for the evacuation of a patient under investigation (PUI) for Covid-19 for transfer to Metro Manila today.

However, he said they are still awaiting clearance from the Department of Health to do the transfer.

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