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23 Mar 2020 | 06:29 AM UTC

China: Flights to Beijing will be diverted through other airports March 23 /update 44

Flights to Beijing will first undergo screening at other Chinese airports amid COVID-19 pandemic March 23; further spread of the virus likely over the coming weeks



Effective Monday, March 23, all flights to Beijing will divert to Tianjin (TNS), Dalian (DLC), Shanghai (PDG), Qingdao (TAO), and Nanjing (NKG) airports to undergo passenger screening for the coronavirus (COVID-19) before continuing to Beijing.

This move comes amid falling infection rates throughout China and heightened efforts to prevent the virus' reintroduction from abroad. On Sunday, March 22, the government reported 46 new COVID-19 cases, 45 of which were imported from overseas. Authorities announced on Tuesday, March 17, that that all arrivals from abroad will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine at designated facilities, while some will be allowed to undergo a 14-day home quarantine.

A significant proportion of large businesses, and many small- and medium-sized businesses have resumed operations nationally. However, Hubei province remains under strict lockdown.

As of Monday, March 23, China has confirmed 81,454 cases of COVID-19, with 3274 associated fatalities and 72,818 recoveries. Further international spread of the virus is likely over the coming weeks. Officials in Wuhan closed the last of its 15 makeshift temporary hospitals on Tuesday, March 10, after the number of new cases per day declined significantly. Nevertheless, further spread of the virus is anticipated in the coming days and weeks.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.