African airlines are canceling trips to China in the wake of the growing concerns around the threat posed by the coronavirus.
As many as five airlines including Kenya Airways, RwandAir, Air Madagascar, Royal Air Maroc as well as Air Mauritius have suspended flights to Beijing.
According to Kenya Airways, discussions are ongoing between the national carrier and the ministries of foreign affairs and health to determine how long the suspension would go.
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Royal Air Maroc has also communicated that an “important decrease in the Beijing flights demand” means the Moroccon flyer will not be going to China between January 31 and February 29, 2020.
But Ethiopian Airlines, the largest in Africa, will “continue to operate all its flights to China” but was working with the relevant authorities to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.
Africa has large populations of students spread across China. Many more also go to China from Africa for purposes of trade.
A student who had flown into Abidjan, Ivory Coast from Beijing underwent tests monitored by health officials after she showed flu-lime symptoms that could be attributed to the coronavirus.
But the WHO has now declared a global public health emergency on the coronavirus following pressure from countries.