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27 Jan 2020 | 02:06 PM UTC

Egypt: Country suspends all flights to and from China as of January 27 amid 2019-nCoV outbreak

Egypt suspends all flights to and from China as of January 27 amid 2019-nCoV outbreak; prepare for lingering flight disruptions over the coming weeks

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EGY

Event

Egypt has suspended all flights to and from China as of Monday, January 27, amid the ongoing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak which originated in Wuhan. All trips booked by Chinese travel agencies to Egyptian tourist destinations, including Hurghada, Sharm al-Sheikh, and Aswan, have been postponed, according to a statement by the Association of Egyptian Travel Agencies.

Lingering travel disruptions are to be expected between the countries over the coming weeks as the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak continues.

Context

The first case of 2019-nCoV was reported on December 31. The source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan. 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.

The World Health Organization (WHO) held an emergency panel in Geneva (Switzerland) on January 23 to discuss the virus, ultimately deciding that it was too early to classify the outbreak as a "public health emergency of international concern." As of January 27, cases of the virus have been confirmed in France, Australia, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, the US, Vietnam, Singapore, Nepal, Macao, Cambodia, and Taiwan and suspected cases have been reported in Mexico and Cote d'Ivoire. The virus has killed 81 people and has infected over 2700 others. Virus screening measures are being implemented at airports worldwide.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored 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 who plan to travel to or have recently returned from China, particularly Hubei province, are advised to monitor the situation and prepare for flight disruptions. 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 and wear a face mask
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments