Friday, February 07, 2020

Coronavirus Panic: China Lodges Diplomatic Protests over Suspension of Flights by Int'l Airlines

Beijing: China said on Thursday that it has lodged diplomatic protests with countries whose airlines have cancelled flights to Chinese cities alleging that they are spreading panic in the wake of deadly coronavirus.

The death toll in China's novel coronavirus outbreak went up to 563 as 73 people died on Wednesday, the highest single day fatalities so far, while total confirmed cases rose sharply to 28,018, Chinese health officials said on Thursday. The deadly virus has spread to more than 25 countries, including India.

Several international airlines, including Air India and IndiGo, have cancelled flights to China over fears of the virus spreading across the world, a move which Beijing described was against the WHO guidelines. Several countries, including India and the US, have also announced travel bans.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told the media briefing online on Thursday that the Chinese government is acting with openness, transparency and a high sense of responsibility in sharing information enhancing international cooperation in dealing with the virus.

"WHO lauded China's strong measures and stressed many times that it does not recommend and even opposes imposing restrictions on travel.

"As some countries have taken such excessive steps as suspending flights, ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) has also issued bulletins and encouraged all countries to follow WHO recommendations," she said.
06/02/20 PTI/News18
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