College campuses on edge due to coronavirus outbreak
College campuses on edge due to coronavirus outbreak
Trump Administration Declares Coronavirus a Public Health Emergency, Imposes Travel Restrictions, Mandatory Quarantines
02 February, 2020, 00:15
On Thursday, the organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) partly because human-to-human transmission of the virus had occurred outside China. China has moved to lock down at least three big cities in an unprecedented effort to contain the deadly new virus that has sickened hundreds of people and spread to other parts of the world.
China's government criticised the measure, which it said contradicted the World Health Organization's appeal to avoid travel bans, and slammed "unfriendly comments" made by the USA that Beijing was failing to cooperate.
Another 2,102 new infections were also confirmed, bringing the total to almost 12,000 - far higher than the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak of 2002-03.
Japan, Vietnam and Australia have reported one more case each.
"I have today declared that coronavirus presents a public health emergency in the United States", Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, announcing the measure on Friday.
"Foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled in China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the United States for this time", he added.
The proclamation applies to anyone other than immediate family of US citizens.
Many provinces and cities have called on companies to remain closed for another week after the holiday ends on Monday.
In response to the U.S.' escalated travel alert, the spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, said on Friday that what the US has done is "certainly not a gesture of goodwill", as the World Health Organization has already recommended against travel restrictions.
Delta Airlines suspended all of its flights to China as coronavirus cases in the country top 9,600. As of Friday afternoon, the coronavirus had infected roughly 10,000 people across the globe. No deaths have yet been reported outside of China.
The latest spike in confirmed coronavirus cases (from about 7,000 to 8,149 in the past 24 hours) pushes the total number of people infected above the final case count from the eight-month SARS pandemic 17 years ago.
Redfield added that the self-isolation for US citizens returning from China was the standard for the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and "98% of the American public voluntarily accepted the importance of this".
American Airlines said it would stop flights to mainland China through March 27, but would continue flights to Hong Kong. Health officials say the latest patient is a man in Santa Clara County, south of San Francisco, who became ill after traveling to China. The travel advisory was the strongest issued so far by the department, saying Americans should not travel to China and those already in the country should "consider departing using commercial means".
At least 24 countries have reported cases since China informed World Health Organization about the new virus in late December.
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