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26 Mar, 2020 14:49

China drastically reduces international flights in move to curb imported coronavirus cases

China drastically reduces international flights in move to curb imported coronavirus cases

The Civil Aviation Administration of China announced Thursday that it will drastically cut its international flight routes in an effort to contain the growing number of imported Covid-19 cases.

The body issued a notice on Thursday.

“Each Chinese airline is only allowed to maintain one route to any specific country with no more than one flight per week,” it reads, while “each foreign airline is only allowed to maintain one route to China with no more than one weekly flight.”

The announcement comes after a spike in imported coronavirus cases in the country this week, prompting the authorities to implement new controls to prevent a resurgence of infections.

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While China announced on Wednesday that there were no new locally transmitted cases of coronavirus on its mainland for the sixth time in eight days, imported cases still rose. In total, there were 114 new imported cases over the past two days, the National Health Commission said.

In addition to sharply reducing the number of international flights, Beijing is also requiring that airlines strictly implement protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and take stringent prevention and control measures on flights to and from China.

The coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, a port city of 11 million people in China’s Hubei province, late last year. It led to the province quickly becoming the epicenter of the epidemic, which later turned into a pandemic.

China registered almost 3,300 deaths and more than 81,000 infected. Since then, other countries have surpassed China in the number of fatalities, with Italy and Spain now reporting more than 4,000 Covid-19 deaths and 7,503 deaths, respectively. Italy is also expected to surpass China in the number of overall cases.