March 07, 2020: Since the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in China, African Airlines have lost $400 million (£312 million), according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Several African airlines such as South African Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Air Tanzania, Air Mauritius, EgyptAir, RwandAir and Kenya Airways have suspended flights to and from China. Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines is still operating flights to and from five cities in China.

Raphael Kuuchi, vice president of IATA, told BBC that the impact of the virus is bound to get worse for African airlines – which last year posted losses of $100 million (£78 million).

So far, cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria, and Senegal.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that countries with poor healthcare systems may not be able to cope with an outbreak, with many in Africa being of particular concern.

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