WUHAN VIRUS/CAL cancels some February flights to Wuhan

01/22/2020 10:37 PM

Taipei, Jan. 22 (CNA) China Airlines (CAL), one of Taiwan's largest carriers, said Wednesday that had canceled some of its roundtrip flights to Wuhan, China, scheduled for February.

In light of the escalating outbreak of a new communicable respiratory disease originating in the central Chinese city, flights between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Wuhan will be canceled Feb. 10-27, the airline said.

Passengers already booked on those flights -- CI541 and CI542 -- will be given assistance to change to other airlines, if they wish, CAL said.

Meanwhile, the airline said it had issued a directive for its cabin crews to wear surgical masks on flights between Taiwan and China, Hong Kong, and Macau, with effect from 5 p.m. Wednesday.

A similar step has been taken by EVA Airways, Taiwan's other major international carrier, starting 6 p.m. Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Taiwan confirmed its first infection of the new coronavirus, known as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The patient, a businesswoman in her 50s who lives in Wuhan, had returned to Taiwan on Monday with a fever and cough.

Since the outbreak of the virus in Wuhan in December, it has killed nine people and infected 440 in China, while a few cases have also been reported in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the United States and Taiwan.

(By Yu Hsiao-han and Elizabeth Hsu)

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