Flights operated by Tajikistan’s Somon Air and South China Airlines to China has been temporarily suspended.  Each of these air carriers has operated flights from Dushanbe to Urumqi twice a week.  

Somon Air reportedly suspended flights to China until February 5, 2020.  The Somon Air press center says that every year during this period, Somon Air suspends flights to China in connection with celebration of Chinese New Year.  

The press center of Dushanbe International Airport (DIA) says South China Airlines, which operates flights from Urumqi to Dushanbe, has also suspended flights until February. 

“We do not yet know exactly what the cancellation of flights is connected with – in connection with spread of coronavirus or in connection with celebration of Chinese New Year, which is celebrated on January 25,” the DIA press center said.  

Meanwhile, Chinese government authorities on Thursday morning moved to shut off transportation in and out of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak that has killed 17 people and infected hundreds.  Chinese authorities put two more cities, Huanggang and Ezhou, under a travel ban later on Thursday. The three cities have a combined population of almost 20 million.

Thursday morning, Chinese officials stopped planes and trains scheduled to leave Wuhan, blocked highways, and suspended public buses, subways, and ferries within the city.