US barring foreign nationals who traveled to China

New measures take effect Sunday; US nationals to face new restrictions upon return from China

Mıchael Gabrıel Hernandez   | 01.02.2020
US barring foreign nationals who traveled to China


President Donald Trump declared the coronavirus a public health emergency and will impose a temporary entry ban on foreign nationals who traveled to China two weeks prior to U.S. arrival, health officials announced Friday.

The new restrictions come amid a global push to contain the virus after it originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December. The virus rapidly spread in the time since, infecting more than 11,000 people and leaving 258 dead in China. The vast majority of infections were recorded in China, as well as all fatalities.

The U.S. ban will go into effect Sunday and will be applied to all foreign nationals other than immediate family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

Additionally, any U.S. citizen who has traveled to China's Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, within the last 14 days will be required to undergo mandatory quarantine at a government facility for two weeks.

U.S. citizens who traveled to the rest of mainland China within that time frame will be required to undergo additional screening and submit to "14 days of monitored self-quarantine to ensure they’ve not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk," Azar said.

He said the restrictions are “prudent, targeted and temporary."

The 14-day period is being instituted because World Health Organizations officials currently assess the coronavirus as having between a two and 14-day incubation period.

Any flights originating from China will be funneled into one of seven airports to institute the additional health measures. They include New York's JFK International, Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago O'Hare, San Francisco International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Honolulu's Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

The measures will be implemented beginning 5 p.m. Eastern time (2200 GMT) Sunday.

Health officials maintained the risk posed by coronavirus to the American public remains low, and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the head of infections diseases at the Department of Health and Human Services, said the new restrictions are being taken to ensure that remains the case with a virus that still has "a lot of unknowns."

The U.S. recorded just six cases of coronavirus transmission. All except one have been patients who had recently returned from China, with the most recent identified case being a patient who had been in close contact with a Chicago woman who was diagnosed with the disease earlier this month.

Since its outbreak late last year, China has put Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, under lockdown in a bid to contain the virus and is building a 1,000-bed hospital in the city to treat those affected by the outbreak.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
Related topics
Bu haberi paylaşın