Despite the Chinese authorities asserting that they took all measures to contain the Corona virus and prevent its spread, a number of countries in the world rushed to withdraw their employees or deport their citizens from China, and took urgent measures against each of them.
The British government said in a statement today, Saturday, that it had decided to withdraw some employees from its embassy and consulates in China due to the Corona virus.
The statement said that the government will retain key personnel to continue to do important work.
“In the event that the situation deteriorates further, the ability of the British embassy and consulates to provide assistance to citizens from inside China may be limited,” he added.
This coincided with the announcement by the United States, on Friday, of a health emergency in the country after the registration of six new HIV cases.
This came in statements made by Health Minister Alex Azar during a press conference from the White House, in which he stressed the seriousness of the health situation in China due to the spread of this epidemic.
“The measures taken in the context of the state of emergency include preventing foreigners from China from entering the United States from Sunday,” he said in his remarks.
In the same vein, the minister confirmed that President Donald Trump has ordered a temporary ban on entry into the country of people who may carry the virus.
He pointed out that any citizen who returns after visiting Hubei province in China – during the past two weeks – will be placed under quarantine for a period of 14 days. Returnees from China will also undergo medical examinations at designated entry points.
He explained that the measures taken are preventive, stressing that the risk of infection with the virus is low, and that the authorities’ task is to keep the risks emanating from corona at this level.
A spokeswoman for the US embassy in China quoted the State Department as saying that it required family members of the embassy staff under the age of 21 to leave immediately from January 31.
The Anatolia Agency stated that the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested, on Friday evening, its citizens not to travel to China and invited those there to expeditiously leave.
The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry attributed this to the spread of the new coronavirus, and in the interest of its citizens, stressing the need to adhere to the instructions of the relevant authorities and the safety procedures followed until departure in the interest of their safety.
And a plane belonging to the Royal Jordanian Airlines evacuated at dawn Saturday, 71 Jordanian and Arab students from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the Corona virus epidemic, according to a Jordanian official source.
“The plane, which King Abdullah II directed to send, arrived at dawn today, Saturday, at Queen Alia International Airport (30 km south of Amman) with 71 Jordanian and Arab students on board from the Chinese city of Wuhan after the outbreak of the Corona virus,” the official Jordanian News Agency (Petra) said.
“The plane transported 55 Jordanian students, seven students from Palestine, three from the Sultanate of Oman, Lebanon, three Tunisians, and Bahrain, in addition to the wife of a student with Russian citizenship, medical personnel and plane personnel,” the agency quoted the acting health minister, Saleh Al-Kharabsheh, as saying.
Turkey also warned its citizens against traveling to Mongolia, after the authorities considered the new Corona virus “a major threat.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry statement indicated that the Mongolian authorities considered the outbreak of the virus that spread in China as a “great danger” for the country due to the intensive bilateral relations and mutual flights between the two countries.
In a sign that it is likely a “further rise” in the spread of the virus, the Singapore government has banned entry for arriving passengers and those transiting from it who visited China during the past 14 days, and stopped issuing all forms of new visas for Chinese passport holders.
In turn, Mongolia announced that it would not receive Chinese citizens and foreigners coming from the neighboring country by air, trains or cars from Saturday to March 2. The Mongolians will also be prevented from traveling to China during the same period.
In Vietnam, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuk has ordered the suspension of any new tourist visas for Chinese and foreigners who have traveled to China in the past two weeks.
He added that trade with China would be “undesirable” until the epidemic spread. Japan, in turn, joined Britain, Germany, and other countries that recommended their citizens to avoid traveling to China.
It is noteworthy that the World Health Organization declared a state of emergency five times globally since its adoption in 2007 regarding swine flu, polio, Zika and twice for Ebola.
This announcement enables the organization to make recommendations that the international community is expected to follow. On Friday, however, she warned that closing the borders would not prevent transmission, but could speed up the spread of the virus.
The Chinese authorities announced on Saturday that the number of confirmed deaths of the new Corona virus has risen to 259 cases in the country, while the number of people infected with the deadly respiratory virus has reached 12 thousand people.
The National Health Committee said in its press conference that the number of new deaths recorded in the past 24 hours amounted to 46 deaths, all – except for one death only – recorded in Hubei, the central province, which the virus first appeared in its capital, Wuhan, last month.
The infection continued to spread in China, with 11,791 people living with the virus.
It is believed that the new virus appeared in a market in Wuhan, where wild animals are sold, and spread in light of the Chinese holiday season during which millions of Chinese travel internally and abroad.
The authorities took strict measures to prevent the spread of the virus, including quarantining more than fifty million people in Wuhan and besieging Hubei Province.