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  • Airbus A321 plane takes off from Los Angeles International airport, California, U.S. March 28, 2018.

    Airbus A321 plane takes off from Los Angeles International airport, California, U.S. March 28, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 February 2020

Although the new Coronavirus pneumonia is less deadly than previous epidemics, China faces isolation from international travel curbs.

U.S.-based pilots and flight attendants are demanding their airlines stop flights to China, which have already been substantially reduced over the last week.

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The Allied Pilots Association (APA), which represents American Airlines (AA) pilots, cited "serious, and in many ways still unknown, health threats posed by the coronavirus" in a lawsuit filed in Texas.

This legal action was supported by AA flight attendants who called on the company and the U.S. government to "err on the side of caution and halt all flights to and from China."

The AA lawsuit came as an increasing number of airlines stopped their flights to the Asian country, including Air France, KLM, British Airways, Lufthansa, and Virgin Atlantic.​​​​​​​

So far, in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed only 6 cases of coronavirus pneumonia: 1 in Arizona, 2 in California, 1 in Washington state, and 2 in Illinois.

Currently, China is facing isolation from international travel curbs and flight suspensions as the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 259 on Friday, when its National Health Commission also reported that there were 2,102 new confirmed infections, bringing the total to 11,791. 

Data suggest that the 2019-nCoV pneumonia is less deadly than the 2002 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 out of 8,000 infected persons.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that global trade and travel restrictions are not needed. So far, only 137 cases have been reported around two dozen countries.

Nevertheless, Singapore, Australia, and the U.S. States announced measures to ban foreign nationals who have recently been in China from entering their territories.​

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