News World WHO working on recommendations for resuming flights to China

WHO working on recommendations for resuming flights to China

The World Health Organization (WHO) is having a teleconference this week with travel and tourism industry representatives to work on recommendations on protecting their crews so they can resume flights to China, a senior WHO official said on Tuesday. Sylvie Briand, WHO director of global hazard preparedness, also said that people infected with the coronavirus should wear masks, but that for other people without signs of the disease, “the masks will not necessarily protect them 100%”. Frequent hand-washing and other hygiene measures were required, she said.

The outbreak, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and has spread within the country and abroad, does not constitute a pandemic, but an epidemic with “multiple foci”, she said.

So far 19 countries had formally notified the U.N. agency of measures or restrictions taken in connection with the outbreak and the WHO was seeking clarifications on their justifications, Briand said, without giving details.

“Crews for those companies are really scared of being infected, when in flight they have really close contact with passengers, they feel at risk,” Briand told a Geneva news conference.

“That is why we need to define with those companies specific recommendations so their staff feel secure, feel protected as well so they can resume flying to China,” she said.

Briand added: “I cannot guarantee they will resume the flights.”

WHO was working with countries and also hoped for a “realignment” among countries policies regarding evacuations of their nationals from China, she said.

The virus has remained “quite a stable virus”, she said.

Chinese authorities had earlier reported a record daily jump in deaths of 64 to 425.

People with severe infections or who die are mainly people with underlying conditions, such as cancer, diabetes or suppressed immune systems, or the elderly, Briand said.

Asked why there have only between one death recorded abroad so far, in the Philippines, among some 153 cases, she said people travelling were probably not old with chronic disease, but younger people and people in good health.

Hong Kong reported its first death from the newly identified coronavirus on Tuesday, the second outside mainland China.


Top Stories

After keeping low profile on campaign trail, Obama makes debut for Biden

Former U.S. President Barack Obama will make his first appearance on the campaign trail on Wednesday for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who is locked...

Police hand out 21 fines for breach of covid-19 measures

Police booked 17 individuals and four establishments all across Cyprus over the past 24 hours for violation of measures to contain the spread of...

UK borrowing exceeds forecasts, debt highest since 1960

Britain's government borrowing exceeded forecasts in September and over the first half of the financial year was more than six times higher than a...

Giovani Group’s two extra floors in Sun City project to be demolished

Two extra floors illegally built in the Sun City project in Ayia Napa in which the former Akel MP Christakis Giovanis’ Giovani Group is...

Nicosia hosts Cyprus-Greece-Egypt Trilateral Summit

Nicosia on Wednesday is hosting the 8th Cyprus-Greece-Egypt Trilateral Summit with the leaders of the three countries set to discuss several issues of mutual...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...