Chinese companies employees in Iraq are blocked from returning to China due to coronavirus

China has repeatedly suspended the rights of airlines to fly certain routes after infections were found among their passengers. But a decision to target Chinese citizens working for state-owned companies abroad is unusual. The 14 employees who flew home with the virus in April worked for China Power Construction Corp. in Rumaila and for the China Machinery Engineering Corp. in Basra, the Chinese Embassy said on its social media account. Beijing suspended issuing health codes to other employees on those projects for two months, the embassy said. That blocks them from boarding flights to China. Failure to detect the virus before the employees boarded two Iraqi Airlines flights “caused a serious risk of importing the epidemic,” the statement said. It gave no details of whether they passed the virus to anyone in China.