TRANSPORT Workers Union national secretary Michael Kaine has called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to suspend incoming flights from China to Australia to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Such a move would not only cause massive disruption to travellers, but also impede the movement of air freight.

The World Health Organisation has just called the virus “a global health emergency”.

Mr Kaine said the Commonwealth must take “urgent action” to protect its own citizens.

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“Suspending flights originating from China may appear to be a drastic measure. But the consequence of inaction could be even more drastic,” Mr Kaine said.

“Air travel is the most efficient means for the virus to spread, and already has been integral to the spread of the virus to at least 18 other countries around the world.

“So far there have been nine cases of coronavirus confirmed in Australia, and more are being tested.

“Person-to-person transmission of the coronavirus has now been confirmed in China, Japan, Germany and the USA.”

Mr Kaine said the rapid spread of the virus had led the World Health Organisation to declare a new strain of coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern.

“What’s more, viruses such as coronavirus can mutate quickly, therefore this disease may become even more dangerous as it replicates,” he said.

“Until more information about this form of coronavirus is known, then the precautionary principle must apply.”

DCN has already reported on the impact of coronavirus on international trade and the movement of goods.

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