China faces more border restrictions as the number of deaths from viruses increases

SHANGHAI: The number of deaths from an epidemic in China has increased by 46 to 259, the country's health authority said on Saturday, while the United States and other nations announced new border restrictions on foreigners who have been in China.

The central province of, the center of the epidemic, is under a virtual quarantine, with sealed roads and closed public transport. In other parts of China, the authorities have imposed restrictions on travel and commercial activity.

In its latest figures, the National Health Commission of China said there were 2,102 new infections confirmed in China on Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 11,791. About two dozen other countries have reported another 137 cases.

Chinese data would suggest that it is less deadly than the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) 2002-03, which killed nearly 800 people of the approximately 8,000 infected, although these numbers can evolve rapidly.

In Beijing, counters were installed at the entrances of the urbanizations, where volunteers wearing red bracelets and masks wrote down details of residents returning from their villages after the Lunar New Year holiday.

As long as I am properly protected and do not go to places with many people, I am not afraid of my hometown or Beijing, said a 58-year-old migrant worker named Sun.

Others were more worried.

There will be a lot of people returning to the city, I think it will put Beijing at risk of more infections, said Zhang Chunlei, 45, another returning migrant worker.

the World Health Organization , which this week declared the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern, said that no commercial and travel restrictions were needed worldwide.

Pero Singapur y Estados Unidos anunciaron el viernes medidas para prohibir a the extranjeros que han estado recientemente en China ingresar a sus territorios.

Evacuations

Australia hizo lo mismo, con el primer ministro Scott Morrison diciendo que el país negará la entrada a todos the extranjeros que viajen desde China continental a partir del sábado.

De hecho, estamos operando con mucha precaución en estas circunstancias, dijo Morrison a periodistas en Sydney. Para que the australianos puedan llevar a cabo su vida cotidiana con confianza.

Qantas Airways Ltd y Air New Zealand dijeron que las prohibiciones de viaje the obligaron a suspender sus vuelos directos a China a partir del 9 de febrero. Las tres principales aerolíneas estadounidenses dijeron el viernes que cancelarían the vuelos a China continental.

Almost 10,000 flights have been suspended since the outbreak of the new coronavirus, according to the data and travel analysis firm Cirium, illustrating concerns about the slowdown in economic activity in China and elsewhere.

Muchas naciones han realizado vuelos chárter para repatriar a the ciudadanos de China y luego colocar en aislamiento durante aproximadamente dos semanas, el período de incubación del virus. Más de 300 surcoreanos llegaron a casa el sábado y funcionarios indonesios dijeron que unos 250 ciudadanos estaban siendo evacuados de Hubei.

Britain said it was withdrawing part of its embassy staff and consulates in China.

En el caso de que la situación se deteriore aún más, la capacidad de the Consulados y de proporcionar asistencia a the ciudadanos británicos dentro de China puede ser limitada, dijo el gobierno del Reino Unido en un comunicado.

Muchas de las costosas clínicas privadas que atienden a extranjeros en China han comenzado a rechazar a las personas con fiebre, lo que genera preocupación entre the expatriados de que tendrían que depender de las instalaciones locales abarrotadas.

I don't want to go to the local hospital with a sore throat just to catch something else, said Czech citizen Veronika Krubner in Tianjin, who is considering leaving the country with her 21-month-old daughter.

Interruptions

Infections have increased in two cities that flank Wuhan, which raises concerns that new critical points will arise despite strict travel restrictions.

In one of them, Huanggang, authorities asked households to designate one individual who can leave the home, a local newspaper said. the city has a population of about 7.5 million.

the northern city of Tianjin, home to some 15 million, suspended all schools and businesses until further notice.

Aunque la OMS ha elogiado the esfuerzos de China para contener el virus, the estadounidenses instaron a Beijing a aliviar las restricciones de movimiento y contrarrestar la discriminación contra the residentes de Wuhan y Hubei.

Human rights should not be a victim of government work to contain the coronavirus outbreak that killed nearly 200 people and affected millions, the group said.

Aún así, the esfuerzos para contener el virus han causado interrupciones y el riesgo de exacerbar una desaceleración en la segunda economía más grande del mundo.

Growth had already slowed in the fourth-quarter to a 30-year low of 6%. the virus impact prompted Capital Economics to almost halve its estimate for first-quarter growth to 3% from 5.7%.

El banco central de China dijo que el impacto fue temporal y que the fundamentos económicos se mantuvieron sólidos, pero que aumentaría el apoyo monetario y crediticio, incluida la reducción de the costos de préstamos para las empresas afectadas.

Apple Inc dijo el sábado que cerrará todas sus tiendas oficiales y oficinas corporativas en China hasta el 9 de febrero, la última de docenas de compañías importantes, incluidas IKEA y Walmart Inc de Suecia, restringiendo the viajes y las operaciones debido al brote.

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