U.S. mulls China travel restrictions amid coronavirus outbreak

A medical worker gives a patient medical treatment in the ICU (intensive care unit) in Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province, January 24, 2020. /Xinhua Photo

The U.S. White House is considering imposing travel restrictions on China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, CNBC reports quoting two unnamed senior officials.

The officials said the restrictions could affect flights into and out of China, as well as U.S. airports.

The reports come as the China stepped up efforts to contain the coronavirus, with the deployment of medical personnel in its epicenter and the construction of hospitals to help deal with the reported cases.

As of Tuesday 28 January 2020, there were 106 deaths reported in China and 4,630 cases confirmed.

President Xi Jinping has however expressed confidence that the disease will be defeated in due course.

“I have personally been directing the effort and deploying resources, I believe that as long as we strengthen our confidence, help each other, control and prevent the virus appropriately, and implement policies precisely, we will definitely overcome this disease,” President Xi said in a meeting with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom.

On his part, Adhanom hailed China for releasing information transparently, identifying pathogens in record time, and proactively sharing relevant viral gene sequences with the WHO and other countries.

He added that the world admired how the Chinese government has demonstrated firm political determination and adopted timely and powerful policies in the face of the coronavirus.

“I believe that the measures taken by China will effectively control and eventually overcome the disease,” he said.

(With input from CNBC)