The U.S. State Department has issued a warning to Americans against visiting China, Reuters reports.
The State Department said Americans should not travel to the Hubei province, given that the province’s city of Wuhan is ground zero for a new deadly coronavirus.
“The State Department has already ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. personnel and family members from the province and the ‘U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services’ to its citizens there,” the report added.
The warning told travelers to be prepared for the Chinese government to put travel restrictions in place with little or no advance notice.
Earlier today, we reported that the coronavirus is spreading to other parts of the world including the United States.
The number of coronavirus cases coming out of China has been on the rise. The total number of people who have died of the disease in China is 54.
The total number of new cases discovered in China is 323.
Here’s the latest:
The latest numbers from Hubei, the epicentre of the contagion, would put the nationwide total of confirmed infections at 1,610, based on figures previously released by the central government.
President Xi Jinping warned Saturday that China faced a “grave situation” as authorities raced to contain a respiratory illness that has caused the widespread abandonment of Lunar New Year celebrations nationwide and overwhelmed health facilities in Hubei.
The contagion remained centred on the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan, which accounted for seven of the new deaths and 46 of the new confirmed cases, said the Hubei Health Commission.
Wuhan and more than a dozen other cities in the province have been locked down in a rapidly expanding quarantine effort marked by transport shutdowns and other restrictions on movement.
The previously unknown virus has caused global concern because of its similarity to the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) pathogen, which killed hundreds across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
It also has struck at possibly the worst time for China, when hundreds of millions of people are travelling across the country or overseas to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday, China’s most important festival.