Taiwan to halt direct ferry services to Chinese cities from Monday

02/08/2020 06:50 PM
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Photo for illustrative purposes only / CNA file photo
Photo for illustrative purposes only / CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 8 (CNA) All direct ferry services between Taiwan proper and the Chinese provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang will be halted from Monday due to the growing threat posed by the Wuhan coronavirus, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Saturday.

From Feb. 10, direct ferry services connecting Taiwan's Taipei, Taichung and Keelung to Fujian's Pingtan and Xiamen and Zhejiang's Damaiyu Port will be temporarily suspended amid mounting concerns over the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak that is spreading rapidly around the world.

The announcement came one day after the MAC said that ferry services between Taiwan's outlying islands and China's Fujian Province will be suspended from Monday.

According to Taiwan's top government agency responsible for handling cross-Taiwan Strait affairs, the resumption of transportation links across the Taiwan Strait will depend on how the overall situation evolves.

According to the MAC, in 2019, around 250,000 passengers took the direct ferries between Taiwan proper and Chinese cities.

Taiwan International Ports Corp. Vice President of Business Chung Ying-feng (鍾英鳳) said low passenger load is typically evident during the winter off-season, but has been made worse by the coronavirus scare.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Ko Lin)

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