Emirates airline confirms health screenings amid coronavirus outbreak

The airline said screenings would be carried out by Dubai health officials on passengers and crews flying in from China

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Emirates airline confirmed that passengers and crew landing in Dubai on flights from China are being screened amid growing concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus.

Dubai health officials screening travellers from China, including Emirates routes from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The airline said on Sunday it is in "close contact" with the authorities in the Emirates and China and is monitoring advice from the World Health Organisation.

The announcement came a day after Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad said passengers on its flights arriving into the capital from China would be screened for coronavirus.

Emirates said passengers travelling to and from Wuhan, Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou with tickets issued before January 24 would be eligible for a refund, with rebooking fees also waived.

"We can confirm that the Dubai health authorities are screening passengers and crew who arrive on Emirates flights from China, which includes our flights from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou," an Emirates representative said.

"We are in close contact with all relevant UAE and Chinese regulatory authorities, and are complying with their directives and guidance.

"We are also closely monitoring and implementing the guidance of the World Health Organisation, which currently does not advise any restrictions on travel.

"Our crew members are highly trained and will follow standard operating procedures to manage any suspected cases on board. For more information on passenger screening, please contact Dubai Airports and the Ministry of Health.”

On Sunday, China announced 15 more deaths as a result of the new coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 56. The total number of confirmed cases was 1,975, according to the authorities in China – although experts say the actual number may be much higher.

The UAE's health minister reiterated on Sunday that the country remained free of the virus.

Abdulrahman Al Owais made the statement, published by state news agency Wam, during a meeting with the National Committee for International Health Regulations and the Control of Pandemics.

He stressed that no case of coronavirus infection had been found in the UAE and that all necessary precautions had been taken to protect the country from the disease.