Malaysia Airlines says guided by WHO, ICAO as China virus hits aviation sector

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 23): Malaysia Airlines said in view of China’s coronavirus outbreak, the airline is guided by aviation health procedures placed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), when interacting with a potentially infectious traveller.

Malaysia Airlines said in a statement on its website that the airline has also placed control measures in its operations to reduce the risk of onboard disease transmission.

The company said these measures "include pre-departure screening on travellers who are not well and providing medical communicable disease kit in every aircraft to cater for passengers who are ill."

"In view of China’s coronavirus, Malaysia Airlines would like to advise its passengers to protect themselves and others, by following these travel recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus: Practice cough and sneezing etiquette, avoid individuals who are showing symptoms of fever, runny nose and cough and avoid identified wet markets and farms in the affected regions," Malaysia Airlines said.

China's Wuhan city is the epicentre of the new coronavirus outbreak. Reuters reported today that authorities in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak that has killed 17 and infected nearly 600 people, shut urban transport networks and suspended outgoing flights.

It was reported that the outbreak posed bigger downside risks in China's sequential economic growth, as consumption and the service sector is a bigger part of the economy. "Airline shares continued to weaken, with Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines dropping more than 3% each," Reuters reported.