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12 Feb 2020 | 09:51 AM UTC

China: Air China cancels all flights to Athens (Greece) February 17 – March 18 /update 34

Air China cancels all flights to Athens (Greece) from February 17 to March 18 due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak; death toll rises to 1,113 as of February 11

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CHN

Event

Air China has announced that it will cancel all flights to Athens (Greece) from Monday, February 17, through Wednesday, March 18, to prevent further spread of the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The death toll from the ongoing outbreak rose to at least 1,113 in China as of Tuesday, February 11, with 2,015 new confirmed cases of the virus. According to China's National Health Commission, there are now 44,653 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in mainland China.

Significant transportation and business disruptions are ongoing throughout China as authorities attempt to contain the outbreak; cases have been confirmed in every Chinese region. Transportation in Wuhan remains severely restricted with flights, trains, and other public transportation services affected.

Further international spread of the COVID-19 virus is to be expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

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 (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 28 countries and territories worldwide. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern."

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.

Advice

Individuals in China are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:

  • Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
  • Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
  • Frequently wash hands, wear a face mask
  • Individuals within China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to seek medical attention, avoid contact with other people, and wash hands regularly
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments
  • Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spreading the disease.