ABU DHABI 4 February 2020: The UAE yesterday announced the suspension of all flights to and from China, with the exception of the country’s capital, Beijing, which will remain unaffected.
The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said in a statement that the suspension would come into force on 5th February – until further notice – adding that the decision is part of precautionary measures undertaken by the UAE to confront the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
“We continue to put our confidence in the Chinese Government’s efforts to control and contain the situation,” the statement stressed.
The authority stated that all passengers travelling from Beijing International Airport will be required to undergo a 6-8 hour comprehensive medical screening at the airport to ensure the safety of passengers before boarding, said Wam.
It also urged airlines to communicate the new procedures with passengers to avoid flight delays.
The GCAA said the decision to suspend flights came after studying and analysing the current conditions on the spread of the virus, adding that it coordinated with international agencies and worked closely with national agencies such as the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, NCEMA, the Ministry of Health and Prevention, MoHAP, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airlines.
It went on to say that NCEMA and other relevant authorities are “continuously evaluating the situation in China and will make decisions accordingly.”
The Authority noted that all incoming and outgoing flights to Wuhan – the city at the centre of the crisis – have been cancelled since 23rd January, 2020.
It concluded by advising passengers to contact their airlines for updates on affected flights.
UAE stands in solidarity with China over coronavirus
Meanwhile, the UAE has affirmed its solidarity with the People’s Republic of China in the face of the outbreak of the new coronavirus in various Chinese cities and expressed its full confidence in China’s proactive response and management of the situation.
In a statement to Wam, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation noted that the UAE, under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and in keeping with the comprehensive and special strategic partnership shared by both countries, is working with the relevant authorities in the People’s Republic of China to cooperate and help ensure the availability of necessary medical supplies to combat the outbreak.
The ministry added that the UAE is fully and continuously prepared to provide its available resources and capabilities to contribute to China’s effective efforts in this regard.