Health, Asia - Pacific

COVID-19: Australia, New Zealand bar foreign entry

Countries only to allow citizens, residents as part of take preventive measures to stem spread of novel coronavirus

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 19.03.2020
COVID-19: Australia, New Zealand bar foreign entry


Australia and New Zealand suspended foreign entry as part of measures stem spread of the novel coronavirus infection. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said foreigners would be banned from entering the country starting Friday, public news service ABC News reported.

Canberra has reported 568 cases of the virus as six people have died in the country and 23 have recovered.

The ban will apply to all non-citizens and non-residents.

Morrison added that Australians returning home from abroad would have to self-isolate for 14 days.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also announced that the country would only allow citizens and residents to enter the country from Thursday night, according to the daily New Zealand Herald.

"There were significant outbreaks in other countries, even though there was no evidence of community transmission in New Zealand," said Ardern.

She added that all confirmed coronavirus cases in the country were related to overseas travel. New Zealand has 28 confirmed coronavirus cases.

"We need to continue to make further decisions and further restrictions," Ardern said.

Since first being detected in Wuhan, China in December, the novel coronavirus has claimed 8,810 lives globally, most in China, according to global data maintained by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

At least 218,823 cases of the virus have been confirmed in at least 158 countries and territories, with Europe as the new epicenter of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.

Despite the rising number of cases, most people who get infected suffer mild symptoms and recover.

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