Ethiopian Airlines has said it is keeping its flights to and from China open, in spite of the new strain of virus spreading across mainland China and beyond.
The airline said on Friday it has put in place a system of precautionary measures that measure the temperatures of all passengers arriving.
Ethiopia Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said: “those who have the symptom of a high temperature more than 38 degree centigrade will be isolated here and tested and quarantined depending on the situation.
“As you can see that there is a camera here which has the capacity to scan the whole area here and passengers when they pass either left or right they are already under screen and those who have the symptom of a high temperature more than 38 degrees centigrade (100.4 f\hrenheit)will be isolated here and tested and quarantined depending on the situation. So, this is the global standard according to the WHO prescription and according to the procedures that WHO has issued, we have also consulted with CDC and we have also as an Airline IATA so we are complying with all the requirements.
“Global health emergency means precaution has to be taken, the right measures have to be been taken to screen passenger to prevent any transmission or transfer of this virus. So, WHO has given all Airlines and all countries what their supposed to do so we are exactly following WHO procedures but WHO has not said or has not banned any travel as you know. So, we have no reason to suspend,” he concluded.
Ethiopian airlines has not followed the banning of its flights to China, unlike other African airlines, as well as other countries across the world, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) had not yet banned flights to and from China.
Kenya, South Africa and Rwanda have all suspended their flights to and from China.
“So we are exactly following WHO procedures but WHO has not said or has not banned any travel as you know. So, we have no reason to suspend,” said Gebremariam.
Many passengers arriving on a flight to the Ethiopian capital were wearing masks.