Coronavirus Updates; Int’l Flights Suspended

By 2020-02-05 13:50:07

Despite a warm commendation on China’s strong efforts to control the spread of the Coronavirus on Tuesday from World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO will send a group of international experts to work with the Chinese specialists on the ground to develop a better understanding of the novel Coronavirus and its severity.

Quick Updates

- 29th Jan: Last night, Tibet autonomous region announced its first case of the Wuhan Coronavirus. 


- 29th JanTwelve new cases of the virus were confirmed in Guangzhou, including a single foreigner, according to the city's health commission. Guangdong province reported 53 new cases of the novel Coronavirus, bringing the total to 241.


- 30th JanHong Kong is to suspend high speed rail links, cross-border ferry services, and half the number of flights heading to mainland China cities to limit the amount of travellers coming in from the mainland. 

Airline suspensions

On Wednesday, American Airlines announced that it would suspend two of its routes. Flights from Los Angeles International Airport to Shanghai Pudong Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport will not run from 9th February until 27th March. While United Airlines has cancelled 24 round-trip flights to Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai, citing a lack of customer demand due to Coronavirus. 


British Airways and AirCanada also announced on Wednesday that they are suspending all flights to and from mainland China with immediate effect amid fears of infection rates rising.

South Korean low-cost carrier Air Seoul and Indonesian budget airline Lion Air have suspended flights their flights to mainland China, and other airlines including Lufthansa Group, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Air Asia, Air India, Air Canada, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines and Korean Air have reduced the number of flights. 

As of now, the virus has reached at least 15 countries outside China, including the US, Australia, Germany and France with the death toll sitting to over 170 and number of infected sat at more than 7,700. Internationally, patients from Germany, Japan and Vietnam have been diagnosed with the new Coronavirus without having visited China, according to health officials during a World Health Organisation news conference Wednesday 29th January.

Store Closures

Ikea, the world’s biggest furniture retailer, said it has temporarily closed all thirty stores in China due to the Coronavirus outbreak. This decision follows its move just a day earlier to temporarily close half of its stores in the country.


Starbucks, which has already closed more than half of its locations in China as of Tuesday, said in a company statement that it will "monitor and modify the operating hours of all of our stores" and that this "is expected to be temporary". 


Sources: China Daily, Channel News Asia, Reuters