Ethiopia: Citizens call for flights from China to be stopped amid coronavirus outbreak

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Citizens in Ethiopia are calling upon the government to halt flights from China as concerns over the coronavirus outbreak intensify.

With the global death toll passing 490 and more than 24,000 confirmed cases, a growing list of countries are placing travel restrictions on flights from China and anyone who has recently visited the country. More than 10,000 flights have been cancelled so far and Ethiopia’s decision to continue operating flights to and from China is proving unpopular.

Ethiopians call for China flight ban

State-owned Ethiopian Airlines released a statement on January 30 stating that flights to and from China will continue and this remains the stance of the country’s government. However, the decision has drawn a lot of criticism on social media from citizens who want flights suspended in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

The post has received hundreds of comments, mostly from Ethiopians calling ofr the airline to rethink its decision. The common complaint is that the company is putting profits ahead of public safety with many saying the decision puts 100 million lives at risk.

So far, only two deaths from Coronavirus have been outside China with one Chinese national dying in The Phillippines and another person dying in Hing Kong. The vast majority of cases confirmed are also in Mainland China but the number of cases overseas is growing.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency as a result of the outbreak but warned against travel restrictions.

Featured image: By Gianluca Tomasello – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=86337814

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.