Nyingchi, a popular tourist city in Tibet, has stopped thousands of tourists from visiting the remote region due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic that has hit China.
Tourism is one the main source of revenue for picturesque Himalayan region. The death toll in China’s novel coronavirus outbreak has spiked to nearly 1,500 with 121 new fatalities reported mostly from the worst-affected Hubei province while the confirmed cases of infection jumped to nearly 65,000, according to the health officials.
Tibet has activated an emergency response and warned that the outbreak of the disease could be much worse due to the plateau’s low oxygen concentration and limited medical resources, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Also, under a new regulation of the city’s disease control headquarters, all the passengers arriving in Tibet must go through 14 days of medical observation and quarantine.
The city’s transportation sector has since dissuaded 41 tourist groups from entering and cancelled three tourist charter flights involving about 5,000 tourists, the report said.
“The Nyingchi airport also sent notices to 3,276 passengers on 59 flights and persuaded 771 to drop their travel plans and another 31 to return after landing,” the report said.
Tibet currently has no new confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases.
“We will continue to discourage unnecessary travel to curb the spread of epidemic on the plateau through aircraft,” said Liu Lisha, a ground service deputy manager at the airport. Tibet earlier reported one case of coronavirus and the patient has been discharged after the treatment.