The national flag carrier Malawian Airlines has suspended its Lilongwe – Blantyre and Johannesburg operations in response to the South African government’s travel ban aimed at cushioning transmission of the novel coronavirus.
In a flight advisory Malawian Airlines public relations officer Joseph Josia said they have “temporarily” suspended all flight to Johannesburg until April 16 2020.
“This means ur last operation to Johannesburg will be on Thursday 26th March, 2020,” reads the advisory.
South African Airways (SAA) has also announced it has suspended its international flights until May 31.
Other than Malawi in Africa, SAA operates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Brazil.
“In support of efforts by government to deal with this pandemic, and in the best interests of our crew, passengers and the public, we have decided to suspend all international flights until 31 May 2020,” SAA Acting CEO, Zuks Ramasia said in a statement.
Ramasia said everyone, not just the government, must act to curb the spread of the virus.
He underlined that plane crews would be at risk had the flight ban been not imposed, and could potentially be trapped in foreign destinations amid increasing travel restrictions.
The virus emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 163 countries and territories. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic.
Out of more than 263,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 11,000, and over 87,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
Despite the rising number of cases, most who become infected suffer only mild symptoms and recover.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :