Kenya Airways (KQ) on Friday suspended flights to Guangzhou, China following the coronavirus outbreak.
In a public statement dated January 31st, KQ said they decided to suspend flights to China indefinitely after discussions with Health and Foreign Affairs ministries.
“Further to our prior communication, we have temporarily suspended flights to and from Guangzhou effective January 31 until further notice. We however clarify that our service to Bangkok, Thailand remains operational,” the airline said.
Kenya waits for ‘second opinion’
KQ had been under pressure to ban flights to the region after a student travelling from China was quarantined on Tuesday over suspicion that he was infected by the deadly virus.
The passenger — who was rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) after exhibiting flu-like symptoms when he landed — is yet to get a definitive diagnosis, after the Government sent samples to South Africa for further tests.
Outgoing Health Minister Sicily Kariuki made the announcement Thursday, insisting that samples were only sent to South Africa for a second opinion.
“The fact that we sent a set of samples does not mean we lack the capacity. We sent the samples to South Africa for a second opinion,” Ms Kariuki said, insisting that her ministry is capable of handling the outbreak.
January’s coronavirus outbreak, which spread from China’s Wuhan region, has already claimed 170 lives.
More than 8000 cases have been confirmed globally, prompting leading global airlines to ban flights to China.