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Coronavirus: Thailand is top destination for travellers from Wuhan

The Independent logo The Independent 22/01/2020 Simon Calder
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As concern grows about the spread of Wuhan Coronavirus, analysis of flight schedules has shown that the Thai capital, Bangkok, is the top international destination for travellers from the central Chinese city.

At least nine people have died in the outbreak of the respiratory virus, with a further 440 cases reported.

Travellers from China have been diagnosed with Wuhan Coronavirus in Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the US.

As Chinese New Year on 25 January approaches, record numbers of travellers are expected in the region.

John Grant of the schedule analysts, OAG, has looked at the number of seats on flights departing from Wuhan in the first three months of 2020. He said: “Nearly 90 per cent of all capacity offered is to other cities in China.

“The two largest international markets are Thailand with nearly 107,000 seats and Japan with some 67,000 seats available. Singapore has some 42,000 seats.”

Mr Grant has also analysed the final destinations of travellers during the first quarter of 2019, and concluded: “Bangkok is clearly the major international destination for traffic to and from Wuhan with on average around 545 arrivals each day.”

An estimated 1.3 million British travellers visit Thailand each year, and the country also has a significant number of long-stay UK residents.

The Foreign Office has not issued specific advice for visitors to Thailand concerned about the spread of the coronavirus.

But Public Health England currently advises travellers to Wuhan, where the virus emerged: “Maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene and should avoid visiting animal and bird markets or people who are ill with respiratory symptoms.”

Airlines and holiday companies are not relaxing their normal terms and conditions for travellers reluctant to travel to Thailand.

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