KQ Suspends flights from Guangzhou over corona virus

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Kenya’s National Carrier, Kenya Airways has suspended all flights from Guangzhou starting today, (Friday 31st January 2020).

The carrier noted that the flights would be suspended until further notice. This happens as the Corona virus spreads further in parts of China as well as parts of the world.

“We have temporarily suspended all flights to and from Guangzhou starting Friday the 31st January 2020 until further notice,” it said.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), the outbreak now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and proposed the following advice to be issued as Temporary Recommendations.

“The Committee emphasized that the declaration of a PHEIC should be seen in the spirit of support and appreciation for China, its people, and the actions China has taken on the frontlines of this outbreak, with transparency, and, it is to be hoped, with success. In line with the need for global solidarity, the Committee felt that a global coordinated effort is needed to enhance preparedness in other regions of the world that may need additional support for that.” A statement by WHO reads in part.

KQ will however continue to operate the normal flights between Nairobi and Bangkok.

The carrier had previously noted that it would not suspend its flights between the two countries just yet as it was keenly observing the situation.

“Our consultation with the ministries of health and foreign affairs will continue and we will provide updates as the situation develops. We apologise to all our customers for the inconvenience and reaffirm that the safety of our customers and staff remains our highest priority,” KQ noted in a statement.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines has said it will still continue with the flights to all the five gateways of the country.

According to a statement form Ethiopian Airlines, China is one of the strongest and one of the oldest markets of Ethiopian Airlines.

“We have been connecting the great Chinese nation with the entire continent of African for almost half a century and it is our growth strategic market.” A statement from read in part.

“We are operating our regular flights to all our five gateways in china, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Hong Kong with the usual supply and demand adjustment that we always make during the Chinese New Year holidays,” it added.

The airline however noted that it would be working together with all relevant Chinese and Ethiopian Authorities to protect its passengers and crew from the Corona Virus Disease in full compliance with IATA, WHO and CDC guidelines.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the people and the government of China for their unreserved support and we would like to reassure our full commitment to stand with them at all times,” it concluded.

WHO status report on the virus as at January 30th 2020 showed that there are now 7711 confirmed and 12167 suspected cases throughout the country. Of the confirmed cases, 1370 are severe and 170 people have died. 124 people have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

Also Read:Can Africa contain the Wuhan Corona virus?

Yvonne Kawira is an award winning journalist with an interest in matters, regional trade, tourism, entrepreneurship and aviation. She has been practicing for six years and has a degree in mass communication from St Paul’s University.

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