The World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a “global emergency” Thursday after cases of the deadly disease spiked “tenfold” across the planet.
“The World Health Organization declared the outbreak sparked by a new virus in China that has been exported to more than a dozen countries as a global emergency Thursday after the number of cases spiked tenfold in a week,” reports the Associated Press.
“China first informed WHO about cases of the new virus in late December. To date, China has reported more than 7,800 cases including 170 deaths. Eighteen other countries have since reported cases, as scientists race to understand how exactly the virus is spreading and how severe it is,” adds the news agency.
Multiple airlines severely reduced their routine flights to mainland China Wednesday; citing growing concerns over the deadly Coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 150 people in the region.
British Airways is now the first airline to suspend all flights to China.
“British Airways said it is canceling all flights to outbreak-stricken mainland China, the first major airline to do so as the number of people in the country infected by a fast-spreading new coronavirus surpassed that of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, nearly two decades ago,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
“The British Airway flights will stay grounded at least until Jan. 31, the carrier said Wednesday. A second airline, Indonesia’s Lion Air, said that it, too, would halt all flights to China starting Saturday. Taken together, the airlines’ moves serve as a harbinger of more cutbacks to services to the Chinese mainland, as safety concerns rise and demand drops sharply—triggered by the virus’s rapid spread around the globe,” adds the newspaper.
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Source: Associated Press