Airlines in Malaysia have dropped all their planned international flights after reports of a virus outbreak in the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the coronavirus outbreak has caused a sharp drop in passenger numbers at domestic destinations.
Malaysia Airlines said on Sunday that all of its planned flights from Kuala Lumpur to New York, Los Angeles and other US cities were cancelled due to the outbreak.
It said it would continue to monitor passengers at its international airports.
“We have confirmed reports of severe respiratory illnesses and deaths in international airports, including in the United States and Malaysia,” the airline said in a statement.
“We have also notified the relevant authorities.
We are working closely with our international partners and their authorities to provide as much information as possible to them and to passengers.”
Malaysian Airlines said it had received at least 12 new confirmed cases of the virus, but the number of confirmed cases was expected to rise further.
The airline said it expected to recover about 20% of its passengers.
It has reported another 20 deaths, but said the numbers could be much higher as the virus spreads.
“As we work through this crisis, we have decided to continue our plans to fly to the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria, as well as other destinations, as soon as possible,” the company said.
The airline added that it was working with the World Health Organisation (WHO), which said it was monitoring cases in Malaysia.
Malayan Airlines has faced widespread criticism in the US, where it is based. “
The airline is providing all necessary assistance to ensure that passengers are not exposed to the virus.”WHO has said it expects the number to rise by another 3,000 people per day.
Malayan Airlines has faced widespread criticism in the US, where it is based.
A group of parents who lost their children to the disease have staged a protest outside its gates in Washington, calling for a boycott of its flights.