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PIA suspends flights to Beijing due to coronavirus fear

PIA suspends flights to Beijing due to coronavirus fear
February 24, 2020
RAWALPINDI (92 News) – The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to suspend its flights to Beijing till March 15 because of novel coronavirus that has left nearly 2,500 people dead in China. The PIA operates its Islamabad-Beijing-Tokyo flight twice a week. According to the PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez, the national flag carrier airline had decided to suspend its flights due to coronavirus, adding that the operation would be resumed keeping the situation in view. Earlier on Jan 30, Pakistan had suspended its flight operation to and from China for three days.
On the other hand, fears mounted that the coronavirus outbreak in China will grow into a pandemic with disruptive and deadly consequences for countries around the world, after sharp rises in infections in South Korea, Italy and Iran.
A surge of infections outside mainland China triggered steep falls in Asian share markets and Wall Street stock futures as investors fled to safe havens such as gold. Oil prices tumbled and the Korean won fell to its lowest since August. “The news flow from the weekend has changed the game somewhat, where the focus is much more on the threat of an outbreak outside of China,” said Chris Weston, head of research at broker Pepperstone. South Korea’s fourth-largest city Daegu grew increasingly isolated as the number of infections there increased rapidly, with Asiana Airlines and Korean Air suspending flights to the city until March 9 and March 28 respectively. In Europe, French Health Minister Olivier Veran said he would talk with his European counterparts soon to discuss how best to cope with a possible epidemic in Europe, after Italy reported a third death from the flu-like virus and 150 infections, from just three before Friday. “Tonight there is no epidemic in France. But there is a problematic situation at the door, in Italy, that we are watching with great attention,” Veran told a news conference.