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Abu Dhabi, February 4, 2020
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has suspended all flights to and from China, with the exception of its capital Beijing, in view of the outbreak of coronavirus in that country which has claimed 425 lives so far.
The UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said in a statement that the suspension would come into force on February 5 until further notice.
The decision is part of precautionary measures undertaken by the UAE to contain the virus and prevent its spread, the statement, carried by WAM, the official news agency of the country, said.
"We continue to put our confidence in the Chinese Government’s efforts to control and contain the situation," the statement stressed.
The statement said all passengers travelling from Beijing International Airport to the UAE will be required to undergo a 6-8 hour comprehensive medical screening at the airport to ensure the safety of passengers before boarding.
It also urged airlines to communicate the new procedures to 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 January 23.