News Alerts

17 Jun 2020 | 02:37 PM UTC

China: Hundreds of domestic flights in and out of Beijing canceled amid increase in COVID-19 cases June 17 /update 71

China News Alert

Beijing authorities announce hundreds of domestic flight cancellations on June 17 amid recent spike in COVID-19 cases; further spread of the virus expected in the near term.

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/17/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/1/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Shanghai). COUNTRY/REGION China, Beijing

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Event

Beijing authorities announced on Wednesday, June 17, that hundreds of domestic flights in and out of the city have been canceled due to a recent spike in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. A total of 1255 flights have been canceled across Beijing's airports. The move comes a day after Beijing authorities issued a level two alert (the second-highest in a four-tier COVID-19 emergency response level system) for the city on Tuesday, June 16.

Beijing authorities announced on June 15 that additional travel restrictions had been put in place due to a recent increase in COVID-19 cases. The increase has been traced to the Xinfadi food market which supplies the majority of Beijing's farm produce. As a result of the recent increase, authorities have upgraded some COVID-19 warnings to medium-risk for 27 neighborhoods in the west and southwest of Beijing. Additionally, a neighborhood in the vicinity of the market has been upgraded to high-risk. Education facilities throughout Beijing were closed, while some restaurants, bars, and nightclubs opted to close amid fears of a full-scale lockdown.

As of Wednesday, June 17, health authorities have confirmed 84,423 COVID-19 cases and 4638 associated deaths in China. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

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.

Advice

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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