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Two baggage handlers at London's Heathrow airport test positive for coronavirus

Two baggage handlers at London's Heathrow airport test positive for coronavirus
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Two British Airways baggage handlers reportedly working at London's Heathrow Airport have tested positive for coronavirus, the airline confirmed Friday.

In a statement to Bloomberg News, the airline's parent company confirmed that the two workers are being quarantined at their home. Colleagues of the two baggage handlers are reportedly also being tested for the illness. 

British Airways is the biggest operator at London Heathrow, one of the busiest airports in the world. The airline had already halted all its flights to China and is limiting certain other flights as the coronavirus outbreak spreads. 

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In a statement, Heathrow said it was working to protect both workers and passengers by cleaning surfaces and providing hand sanitizer, and the health agency that confirmed the coronavirus cases has a dedicated team at the airport to address coronavirus.

“The welfare of our passengers and colleagues is our top priority,” Heathrow said in the statement. "A dedicated Public Health England team is operating at Heathrow to respond to any incidents at the airport, and we are working closely with them to ensure our colleagues are following their latest guidance in its entirety to protect themselves and our passengers."

The new diagnoses come as coronavirus continues to spread globally, with airports being a center of concern among health officials. 

Earlier this week, a medical professional conducting coronavirus screening at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) tested positive for the virus. A flight attendant who flew out of LAX also tested positive for coronavirus late last month. 

Amid concerns of the outbreak spreading, airline CEOs addressed President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE and Vice President Pence this week on their cleaning procedures. 

“I think all of us have made a lot of changes to our cleaning procedures, changes to our onboard procedures, to gloves, sanitation, the service that our flight attendants are providing our customers. We’re trying to do everything we can to help everyone contain the virus and contain the spread of it,” Bradley Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines, said in the meeting.

Cases of coronavirus in the U.S. have surpassed 250. Globally, there are more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19, and at least 3,400 people have died from the illness.