China Steps Up Fight to Battle Virus Outbreak
China’s President Xi Jinping has ordered the Chinese military to keep a firm focus on the assigned mission and shoulder responsibility to make contributions to winning the battle against the novel coronavirus epidemic.
259 people have died and 11,791 people have been infected in China by the new coronavirus, according to new figures from China’s health officials, with thousands more suspected of having the virus, reports Chinese state media.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in a recent address to the military on the prevention and control of the outbreak of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus.
“The military is in the process of implementing the decisions and direction of the CPC Central Committee after the novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan of Hubei Province”, Xi said, adding that “The armed forces rapidly initiated the joint prevention and control mechanism and sent elite medical teams to combat the epidemic at the frontline.”
Xi says that the epidemic prevention and control remain grim and complex and demanding that the armed forces shoulder their responsibility, fight the hard battle, and actively assist local authorities in fighting the epidemic.
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“The Chinese military is tasked with treating patients in Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, which reflects the high level of trust that the Party and the people place in them”, says Xi. “To meet the expectations and fulfill the task, the military must strengthen leadership, enhance coordination with local authorities, adhere to scientific treatment, and pay attention to their own protection”, Xi added.
Huoshenshan Hospital, which is under construction, is a makeshift hospital dedicated to treating patients infected with the novel coronavirus.
The President has ordered military hospitals engaged in the epidemic control to treat patients with all-out efforts and also ordered military research institutions to step up scientific research to contribute to winning the battle against the epidemic.
Hong Kong Medical Professionals Say “Close Border with China”
While Chinese officials are calling the moves by several countries to restrict travel, in Hong Kong, doctors and nurses have in a vote, expressed that the border between mainland China and Hong Kong be closed.
The more than 3,000 nurses and doctors who are registered with the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance have voted to strike next week to pressure the Hong Kong government to close the eight remaining open border points with China.
The United States Moves to Restrict its Borders to Visitors from China
In the United States, the Trump Administration will start, on Sunday, to quarantine people who have traveled from China. On Saturday the United States announced that 195 people have been taken to a California military base under quarantine for 14 days.
It has been reported that the Pentagon has approved a request from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for housing support for at least 1,000 people who may need to be quarantined after arriving in the United States.
In a statement, the Pentagon said that HHS has asked it to provide several facilities capable of caring for at least 250 people in individual rooms until February 29, 2020.
America Prepares Military for novel coronavirus
“I approved a directive apprising our forces about precautions they should take, how to recognize the signs and symptoms of the virus,” said Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper. “The Department of Defense continues to work closely with our interagency partners as we monitor the situation and protect our service members and their families, which is my highest priority.”
Due to the threat of novel coronavirus (2019-nCov), the Department of State recently adjusted the travel advisory for China to a Level 4, meaning individuals should not travel there. Additionally, the Department of State has requested that all non-essential U.S. government personnel defer travel to China in light of the novel coronavirus. Commanders of individually affected geographic commands will be issuing specific guidance to their forces.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also adjusted their travel advisory to a Level 3, recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China. This outbreak is of high-risk to travelers and there are no precautions available to protect against the identified increased threat.
DOD officials are closely monitoring the outbreak of the virus, which was first detected in Wuhan City, China, and is closely coordinating with our interagency partners to ensure accurate and timely information is available and all appropriate measures are taken to prevent potential spread.
The statement added that four military installations had been selected in case they were required: two in California, one in Colorado and one in Texas.
Just received a briefing on the Coronavirus in China from all of our GREAT agencies, who are also working closely with China. We will continue to monitor the ongoing developments. We have the best experts anywhere in the world, and they are on top of it 24/7! pic.twitter.com/rrtF1Stk78
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2020
International Travel Restrictions
There is a growing number of countries that are putting in place restrictions on people who have traveled to their countries from China.
Israel’s Interior Ministry states that the country will broaden border restrictions to bar entry to anyone – except Israeli citizens – who has visited China in the past two weeks. This ban extends to visitors coming to Israel by air, sea, and land.
Bangladesh Evacuatess from Wuhan
Bangladesh has evacuated citizens, 301 adults and 15 children, who were living in Wuhan, flew out today in a chartered Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane, reported the air carrier’s Chief Executive Officer Mokabbir Hossain.