Wuhan coronavirus: U.S. declares emergency, will close borders for some travelers
Topics: WUHAN CORONAVIRUS U.S. EMERGENCY
Washington has said it will temporarily ban the entry of foreign nationals who have recently visited China.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the Trump administration would bar entry to those believed to be a risk of transmitting the virus from today afternoon.
“The risk of infection for Americans remains low and with these and our previous actions we are working to keep the risk low,” Azar said.
The U.S. has already evacuated 200 citizens from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the outbreak occurred.
They are being held in quarantine at a military base in southern California for two weeks. The U.S. will put on more flights to bring nationals home from the Hubei province and keep them quarantined also.
The Defense Department said yesterday it has agreed to house up to 1,000 people who may need to be quarantined upon arrival from overseas travel because of the coronavirus and that two of the four facilities selected are in California.
Travis Air Force Base in Solano County and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego County are the two California sites that were selected, Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement. The others are Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and the 168th Regiment Regional Training Institute in Colorado.
The number of people to have died from the coronavirus has risen to 259, according to Chinese officials.
It is up from the 213 declared on Friday, while the number of cases has also increased by more than 2,000 to 11,791.
These figures would “almost certainly be an underestimate” however, according to England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, who announced the UK’s first two cases of the coronavirus on Friday. ■