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Delta suspends all flights to China, as coronavirus reaches 9,600+ cases and growing fast

Delta Airlines Boeing 777 (Lasse Fuss/WikiCommons)
January 31, 2020

Delta Airlines has suspended all flights to China amid reports of the worsening Wuhan coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The airline announced it would suspend all flights between Feb. 6 and April 30, as a result of the coronavirus. In a statement Friday, Delta Airlines said it would continue to monitor the outbreak and make new adjustments to its flight suspensions as further details emerge.

Delta currently operates 42 flights to China weekly. The airline announced it would help customers reschedule their flights after April 30, or discuss refunds options.

The viral outbreak in China has risen beyond 9,600 cases, ABC reported Friday; up from 8,137 cases reported on Thursday.

On Wednesday, reports circulated that President Donald Trump was considering grounding all non-essential flights to China. While the Trump administration has not reached a decision, other airlines have separately decided to stop some China-bound flights.

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Both American Airlines and United have announced some parameters for refunding flights bound for Wuhan and other areas in China. Those airlines were also offering to waive flight change fees for customers still willing to fly to China despite the ongoing viral outbreak.

Globally, coronavirus cases have expanded beyond China.

According to The Guardian, two cases of coronavirus have already been confirmed in the U.K.

Cases have also appeared in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, France, Australia, Malaysia, Nepal, Canada, and the U.S.

The first confirmed U.S. coronavirus case appeared in a Seattle area man who complained of pneumonia symptoms in the days after returning from travel in Wuhan. Airports throughout the country have adopted to screening efforts to identify possible carriers of the virus returning from China.

Subsequent U.S. cases of coronavirus have also emerged from travellers returning from visits to China, however the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did confirm the first case of person-to-person transmission of the virus within the U.S. on Thursday.