Coronavirus: Two American airlines suspend flights to China as deaths soar

As the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak passed 200 Friday, all of the fatalities in China, two American Airlines said they will suspend flights beginning Friday. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines said it will stop flights in early February.

Both airlines had previously announced they would reduce the number of flights but would continue to offer service.

In a news release announcing the change, Delta said it would operate flights through Feb. 5 to ensure customers who want to leave China have options to do so. The airline’s last China-bound flight will leave the United States on Feb. 3. Flights will remain suspended through April 30.

Recall that the United States had issued a “Level 4” travel advisory for China, its highest level of caution, over the rapidly spreading outbreak; American and Delta will halt all flights to mainland China.

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As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and concern in the United States rises, doctors in the region are mounting a defense against the virus on two main fronts.

The first is in medical centers and hospitals, where physicians are running drills and reviewing protocols as preparations are underway to catch possible infections. The second is in the realm of public opinion, where doctors say growing coronavirus anxiety would be better directed toward, say, the common flu.

“Everyone seems to have the flu, not the coronavirus,” said Craig DeAtley, director of the Institute for Public Health Emergency Readiness at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

“It’s important to put this into context: We’re in the middle of flu season, and the flu, whether it’s an A strain or a B strain or what, has sickened more and killed thousands more than the Coronavirus has.”

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