China shortens suspensions for international flights linked to COVID-19 cases

China has shortened the suspension time for inbound international flights on routes found to have COVID-19 cases starting on Sunday (Aug 7).

The country's aviation regulator said in a statement on Sunday that flights on a route with an identified coronavirus case will be suspended for one week if 4 per cent of passengers test positive, and two weeks if 8 per cent of passengers test positive.

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Previously, the aviation regulator's policy was that if five passengers tested positive, the airline's flights for that route would be suspended for two weeks.

The suspension will last for four weeks if 10 or more passengers test positive.

The country reported 868 new coronavirus cases for Aug 6, of which 390 were symptomatic and 478 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Sunday.

That compares with 704 new cases a day earlier - 361 symptomatic and 343 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.

There were no new deaths, leaving the country's death toll at 5,226.

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As of Saturday, mainland China had confirmed 230,886 cases with symptoms. China's capital, Beijing, reported one new symptomatic case for Aug 6. Shanghai and the southern technology hub of Shenzhen reported no new cases.

The country's holiday hot spot of Sanya, a city on the southern end of Hainan island, is grappling with an outbreak and said it had recorded 615 symptomatic and 213 asymptomatic cases from Aug 1 to Aug 6. The city imposed a lockdown on Saturday.

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