The drama over where flights from China can now land hit Haiti Friday; when a private plane ferrying Chinese passengers landed on the tarmac in Port-au-Prince. After being denied the right to land in the Bahamas and the neighboring Dominican Republic.
Ernst Renaud, the director of operations at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince; told the Miami Herald the flight had originated in Dubai with a final destination of the Bahamas. The Bahamas, however, denied the passengers entry over fears of the coronavirus outbreak. The coronavirus continues to spread and has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization.
The flight then turned around and went to the Dominican Republic where it refueled and then flew to Port-au-Prince. However, Wilson Lamour, an assistant to Renaud, said airport officials were unaware of the flight and it did not have permission to land. As a result, Once in Haiti, everyone was kept on the airplane due to the health risk.
Lamour said the flight had a three-member crew and 11 passengers, including Chinese nationals. The pilots had run out of time and were being allowed to rest on the aircraft with the passengers.
Eddy Jackson Alexis, a government spokesman, said France and Portugal both agreed to accept the aircraft and its passengers. Therefore, The pilots, he said, chose Portugal and were expected to depart Haiti at 2 a.m. Saturday.
“All measures are being taken to ensure that they do not physically come in contact with the Haitian territory,” said Alexis, who added that; police officers were guarding the plane and making sure its doors remained shut.
Additionally, In Trinidad, the Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh announced that “persons who are presently living in China or visiting China; regardless of nationality, will not be allowed entry into Trinidad and Tobago for 14 days after leaving China.”