The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) announced on Sunday, June 14, that China Southern Airlines will suspend flight operations between Dhaka and Guangzhou for four weeks beginning June 22, amid a rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. The CAAC made the decision following a previous flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh to Guangzhou where 17 passengers on board tested positive for COVID-19, meeting the threshold for a suspension of the service.
Authorities previously reintroduced lockdown measures in parts of Beijing on Saturday, June 13, following the detection of a new cluster of locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases in the vicinity of the Xinfadi market. Authorities closed the market at 03:00 (local time) on Saturday and placed the entirety of southern Fengtai district, including 11 residential areas in the vicinity of the market, under lockdown measures. Additional movement restrictions were also introduced across Beijing and sporting events were suspended. Plans to reopen schools in the capital for grades one through to three on Monday, June 15, were also placed on hold.
The CAAC announced on Monday, June 8, that 95 foreign airlines will be permitted to resume commercial flights to Chinese destinations following a suspension of flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Airlines are permitted to operate one flight a week into China and can choose from a list of cities provided by the CAAC, provided they were already licensed to operate the route prior to the flight ban. Airlines that successfully screen out positive COVID-19 cases prior to arrival in China for three consecutive weeks will be permitted to operate a second weekly flight. Airlines that operate a flight with five or more positive cases will be suspended from operating flights for a week, and flights with ten or more cases will see the airline suspended for four weeks.
As of Sunday, June 14, health authorities have confirmed 84,288 COVID-19 cases and 4638 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
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 (Hubei province, 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 numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
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.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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