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PIA suspends Beijing flights amid coronavirus fears

KARACHI: As part of precautionary measures to block possible outbreak of a novel coronavirus that has so far killed over 2,200 people and infected more than 75,500 others in mainland China, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has suspended its Beijing flights, ARY News reported on Saturday.

The national flag carrier’s flights, PK-852 (Islamabad to Beijing to Tokyo) and PK-853 ( Beijing to Islamabad) will remain suspended until March 15, according to a spokesperson for the airline.

The decision to suspend the flights is part of measures to prevent a possible spread of the epidemic in the country.

The spokesperson said the PIA administration would decide whether to extend the cancellation of the flights in a few days.

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Earlier today, China reported a sharp fall in new deaths and cases of the coronavirus, but world health officials warned it was too early to make predictions about the outbreak as new infections continued to rise in other countries, Reuters adds.

Chinese authorities said the mainland had 397 new confirmed cases on Friday, down from 889 a day earlier. The numbers surged elsewhere, though, with outbreaks worsening in South Korea, Iran, Italy and Lebanon.

Read More: Balochistan govt declares emergency in border areas after Iran virus deaths

In South Korea, authorities said on Saturday the number of new infections had doubled to 433, and suggested the tally could rise significantly as more than 1,000 people who attended a church at the center of the outbreak reported flu-like symptoms.

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