Coronavirus: Britain cancels flights to China

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The new coronavirus from China has surpassed the infection rate of the previous deadly virus, SARS, spreading to at least 6,000 patients and killing 132 of them. Various countries are working to repatriate their nationals, while the largest British airline has canceled flights to China.

The new coronavirus continues to increase the death toll in China, with a daily average of 25 people over the past three days.

Authorities said the death toll has risen to 132, the number of confirmed cases to about 6,000 and 9,000 more being monitored by symptoms.

The infection has already spread to 16 countries around the world, including France and Germany.

On Wednesday, British Airways announced the suspension by March of all direct flights from London to Beijing and Shanghai.

The decision followed the British Foreign Ministry’s unprecedented advice to instruct citizens not to travel to the Asian state if their visit was not vital.

Remaining British citizens at the epicenter of the epidemic, in the Chinese city of Wuhan, were told to contact the country’s Embassy in Beijing to clarify how they might return home.

Similar measures to repatriate their residents have begun to take place in Italy, France, Japan and the US.

To avoid the spread of the disease, Australia has said 600 returning citizens will be provisionally quarantined on an island nation.

The total number of cases now confirmed exceeds that of SARS, another respiratory disease that killed more than 600 people worldwide in 2002-2003.

The World Health Organization has not yet declared the epidemic an international emergency.

Australian scientists, meanwhile, have developed in the lab a version of the deadly coronavirus from which they hope to soon produce antibodies and later a final vaccine.


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