China drastically reduces global flights in move to curb imported coronavirus cases

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 26, 2020

Flights out of China will be capped at just one route a week to each country, with global airlines also permitted only one route.

The CAAC's announcement said: "To resolutely contain the increasing risks of imported Covid-19 cases, and in accordance with the requirements of the State Council for joint prevention and control of the pandemic, [the regulator] has made a decision to further reduce the number of worldwide passenger flights".

China registered nearly 3,300 deaths and more than 81,000 infected. Beijing is exhorting industries to reopen, but the virus, which has now spread around the globe, continues to threaten China's economy and the health of its people.

The move comes as Europe has quickly surpassed mainland China as the new epicentre of the global pandemic, while domestic cases have tapered off for the past week.

Although no new cases have been reported in Hubei province and its capital Wuhan for some time, the death toll has been steadily increasing.

On Wednesday, six deaths were reported from Hubei province taking the death toll in China to 3,287 people and total number of cases to 81,285.

The coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, a port city of 11 million people in China's Hubei province, late previous year.

In stepping up efforts to curb the number of imported virus cases, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said later in the day that on a temporary basis it will not allow foreign nationals to enter the country.

About 90 per cent of all the imported cases are Chinese passport holders, Vice-Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui told a press conference, adding that 40 per cent of those were overseas Chinese students returning amid rising infections abroad.

Shanghai will make every global traveller arriving from 1800 local time (1000 GMT) on Thursday go into quarantine for 14 days, the local government announced, having previously only required this for travellers who had visited any of 24 badly hit countries in the previous two weeks.

It had previously only required this for travellers who had visited any of 24 badly-hit countries in the previous two weeks.

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