LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – United Airlines announced Friday it will begin suspending flights between L.A. international Airport and Tokyo Narita Airport early next month due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The suspension will begin March 8 and run through at least April 24, the airline announced.
It will also be suspending flights to Tokyo from Houston and Chicago. However, flights between New York and Tokyo, as well as San Francisco and Osaka, will only be reduced from daily to five days a week.
Earlier this month, United suspended flights between the U.S. and both China and Hong Kong. The Chinese city of Wuhan is the epicenter of the outbreak.
In January, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines announced they were suspending all flights to mainland China.
Japan’s outbreak is partly linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship which has been docked off the Japanese port city of Yokohama for the past several weeks. As of Friday, there were 705 coronavirus cases connected to the Diamond Princess, according to CNN, and at least five of those have died.
There were another at least 200 cases in the country not linked to the Diamond Princess, The Japan Times newspaper reports.
On Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe requested that all schools in the country close through the end of March, the newspaper said.
A flight attendant for Korean Air who worked several flights out of LAX was diagnosed with coronavirus earlier this week. The 24-year-old was diagnosed in southern Seoul.
There were 59 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. as of Thursday. Of those, 33 were in California. Of the 33, 24 were from repatriation flights, according to the California Department of Public Health, meaning they were U.S. citizens who had contracted the disease outside the country and had been flown back for treatment and quarantine. Most of those were people who got the virus while aboard the Diamond Princess.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person through close contact, usually within 6 feet, and mainly via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. People are likely most contagious when they are most symptomatic.