Shipping company FedEx is allowing its airline pilots to opt-out of taking trips to China while world public health officials try to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
FedEx released a statement on the matter Saturday night, saying it would “closely monitor” the coronavirus’s spread and would allow crew members to “voluntarily decline trips” to China:
“The safety and well-being of our team members is always our top priority, and we continue to closely monitor developments related to the coronavirus. Throughout this situation, we have been in constant communication with our crew force regarding our flight operations in China. We can confirm that we have reached an agreement with our pilots that allows crew members to voluntarily decline trips into China.”
FedEx’s move comes as other companies shut their doors to prevent the spread of the virus. Apple Inc. announced it would be closing its offices and stores in China until February 9 to contain the spread of the virus.
More than 800 people have died from the coronavirus in China alone, the New York Times reported Sunday.
The World Health Organization says that there are more than 37,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, with most cases appearing in mainland China and some cases spreading as far as Australia.
The death toll for the coronavirus topped that of the SARS outbreak back in 2003.