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Dubai port operator DP World suspends staff travel to China

Reuters, January 28, 2020

DUBAI — DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, has suspended all staff travel to China until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak there.

Companies including Facebook, LG Electronics and Standard Chartered are among those restricting travel for employees to China, where the death toll from a flu-like virus rose above 100 on Tuesday.

READ: China shuts Foxconn, Johnson & Johnson, & Samsung plants amid virus outbreak

“All travel to China is suspended until further notice, unless for emergency purposes. We continue to monitor WHO and Government advice,” a spokesman at Dubai state-controlled DP World told Reuters on Tuesday.

DP World’s website shows it operates at three ports in mainland China and at another port in Hong Kong.

READ: China isolates port in Wuhan. Cruise lines cancel trips from China

Chinese nationals would be permitted to travel to China if they needed to go home, the spokesman added.

“All our ports are complying with the official government health ministry directive for operations, staff health precautions and risk mitigation plans,” he said, adding that ports need to continue to operate for welfare and health purposes, including the import of food and medicine.

Dubai’s Emirates airline has advised its flight crew to stay in their hotels when on a layover in China due to the coronavirus, an internal notice seen by Reuters showed.

READ: CMA CGM container ship sailing from China reported 6 crew with fever

The United States has warned against travel to China, where the coronavirus outbreak has left millions of Chinese stranded during the country’s biggest holiday of the year.

(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell, writing by Davide Barbuscia; editing by Jason Neely and Alexander Smith)

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