As the novel coronavirus continues to claim lives, a number of major airlines have suspended flights to and from China.
Rabat – The death toll from the novel coronavirus outbreak in China has risen to 563 as of Thursday, up from 490 on Wednesday. The number of confirmed cases has reached 28,018 people across China, while two deaths have been confirmed in Hong Kong and the Philippines.
According to figures released by China’s National Health Commission, 1,153 patients diagnosed with the virus have left the hospital after being discharged.
“As of midnight on February 5, the state health committee received information from 31 provinces about 28,018 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the new type of coronavirus, of which 3,859 people are in serious condition, 563 died, 1,153 people were discharged from hospitals,” the commission said.
On Wednesday, the committee said the overall number of cases of pneumonia caused by the new type of coronavirus on mainland China had reached 24,324 people.
Chinese health officials are also examining 25,000 suspected cases.
A number of international airlines have suspended flights from and to China as a preventive measure.
The airlines’ suspension decision received criticism from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Thursday.
“China is strongly concerned and dissatisfied,” Chunying said during an online briefing. “We hope relevant countries will bear in mind overall relations and people’s interests and resume normal operation of flights to guarantee normal people-to-people exchange and cooperation.”
“I must stress that certain countries’ ill-advised decisions to suspend flights to and from China are neither cool-headed nor rational.”
British Airways, Indonesia’s Lion Air, South Korea’s Air Seoul, Finland’s Finnair, Air Canada, Singapore-based Jetstar Air, and Morocco’s Royal Air Maroc (RAM), among others, have all suspended flights from and to China.