Novel Coronavirus Update – United States to Bar Entry to Travelers Who have Visited China

Novel Coronaviruss

“We have adopted the most comprehensive and strictest prevention and control measures, and many of them go far beyond the requirements of the International Health Regulations,” says China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

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Overnight the death toll from novel coronavirus has risen to 259. All of the deaths are in China. There are 12,000 confirmed cases in other countries around the world.

Many countries are working to get their citizens out of Hubei Province and Wuhan City.

While Australia and the United States are putting in place restrictions on travelers, the head of the World Health Organization says, “Travel restrictions can cause more harm than good by hindering info-sharing, medical supply chains and harming economies.”

Additionally Russia, Japan, Pakistan and Italy announced similar travel restrictions.

China is seeing those restrictions as insulting, and not an exercise in goodwill.

The United States Centers for Disease Control, under the authority of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, says 195 American citizens are quarantined at a military base after having been evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of a growing global coronavirus outbreak.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying says, “Just as the WHO recommended against travel restrictions, the US rushed in the opposite direction… [It is] certainly not a gesture of goodwill.”

Update Canada

As of January 31, 2020, 4 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been confirmed in Canada.

Canada’s Minister of Health Patty Hajdu states, “The World Health Organization (WHO) determined that the novel coronavirus is a public health emergency of international concern. The measures recommended by the WHO have already been put in place in Canada, and our health care system is prepared. The risk to Canadians remains low.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is working with provinces, territories and international partners, including the World Health Organization, to actively monitor the situation.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer of Canada is in close contact with provincial and territorial Chief Medical Officers of Health to ensure that any cases of 2019-nCoV occurring in Canada continue to be rapidly identified and managed in order to protect the health of Canadians.

China’s efforts are [aimed at] not only protecting the health of its own people, but also safeguarding the health of people worldwide. Governments and the World Health Organization have given full recognition to this.

Update United States of America

The United States has declared a health emergency on novel coronavirus. As a result of this declaration of a public health emergency over the spread of the coronavirus, the United States will now deny entry to the USA of any foreign nationals who have visited China in the past two weeks.

United States citizens who are returning from Hubei province in China, where the outbreak started, will be quarantined for two weeks.

Health Secretary Alex Azar said on Friday, “Following the World Health Organization decision, I have today declared that the coronavirus represents a public health emergency in the United States. The risk of infection for Americans remains low and with these, and our previous, actions we are working to keep the risk low”.

There have been seven cases of novel coronavirus reported in the United States.