United Airlines canceled two dozen U.S. flights to and from China, the carrier announced Tuesday, as American health authorities stepped up efforts to battle the fast-spreading coronavirus.
The 24 round trips involved routes originating in San Francisco, Newark, Dulles and Chicago's O'Hare International airports with destinations in Beijing and Shanghai.
The Chicago-based airline didn't specifically cite the virus but said a sudden drop in travel to China forced the cancellations.
"Due to a significant decline in demand for travel to China, we are suspending some flights between our hub cities and Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai beginning Feb. 1 through Feb. 8," according to a company statement.
"We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops and will adjust our schedule as needed."
Earlier Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced it would increase the number of American ports of entry with screening for the coronavirus from five to 20.
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