Iran Suspends China Flights over Coronavirus

Iran Suspends China Flights over Coronavirus

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran has suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China following the coronavirus outbreak, except for a number of extra flights to bring residents home, the administration’s spokesman announced.

Speaking to reporters after an extraordinary meeting on ways to combat the novel coronavirus, held in Tehran on Friday evening, Ali Rabiee said the administration has decided to suspend all direct flight between Iran and China.

He also soothed the concerns of families of the Iranian nationals residing in China, saying Iranians who have applied for return to the country can catch special Iranian flights or a flight operated by a third country.

In separate comments, Health Minister Saeed Namaki said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made arrangements with the Chinese government to bring back 70 Iranian university students from the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of outbreak of the coronavirus.

He said the Iranian students have not been infected according to China’s report, and will be able to return home next week after being kept in quarantine for two weeks.

The World Health Organization said on Friday it was declaring the coronavirus outbreak in China a global emergency.

Chinese officials announced 46 new deaths and 2,102 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday. That brings the death toll to 259, and the number of confirmed cases in China to 11,791.

Officials said 1,795 of the confirmed cases are severe.

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