A couple in China has left their two young children behind at the Nanjing Lukou International Airport, China, after their son who had a fever was banned from flying amid an outbreak of coronavirus.
It is said the parents deserted their son and daughter by the departure gate and boarded the flight on their own in the eastern city of Nanjing, leaving airline workers and other passengers in shock.
The news comes as the country is ravaged by a new strain of coronavirus, which has killed at least 26 people. Its symptoms are typically a fever, cough and trouble breathing. Cities across China have tightened health checks at transport hubs.
The children were eventually allowed to board the domestic plane, reported local newspaper Yangzi Evening News.
The incident came to light when a blogger posted pictures of the children on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter.
The blogger claimed that a couple were causing a scene in Nanjing Lukou International Airport after one of their children were prevented from flying due to a fever.
One of the pictures posted by the web user shows two children sitting on seats in a boarding lounge unattended.
Another two images show passengers waiting by the departure gate.
According to Nanjing-based Yangzi Evening News, the incident happened on Wednesday night in Nanjing Lukou International Airport, which serves the provincial capital of Jiangsu.
Cities across China have tightened health screening at transport hubs in a bid to curb the deadly outbreak.
At least 10 cities in China, home to around 33million people, have gone into some form of lockdown in the past couple of days after number of confirmed cases surged.
The new form of coronavirus has killed 26, but experts predict the true number of people with the disease could be over 10,000 as they warn it may kill as many as two in 100 cases.
The family were trying to fly from Nanjing to Changsha with flight MF8040 operated by Xiamen Airlines.
“It seems the boy’s body temperature was 38.5 degrees Celsius,’ one passenger who witnessed the event told Yangzi Evening News.
“The airline company did not allow [the boy] to board the plane, but the children’s parents would not agree,’ the passenger added.
It was alleged that the couple blocked the departure gate, insisting that workers let their children through.
The chaos lasted for nearly two hours and police officers arrived to mediate between the protesting parents and the airline.
“At last, workers let the adults onto the plane,’ claimed the passenger, who added that the children were simply left to sit in the airport by themselves.”