Published: Fri, March 27, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

China bars most foreigners to curb imported virus cases

China bars most foreigners to curb imported virus cases

The United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and India are among the countries to have introduced travel bans on foreign nationals in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that foreign nationals with residence permits will be prevented from entering the country starting on Saturday.

It said diplomatic workers will be exempt, and foreign citizens coming to China for "necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs" can still apply for visas. More than 100 countries have enacted travel restrictions or border closures since the global spread of the pathogen.

The move is the latest in a string of tough steps by the Chinese government to combat the virus, which first appeared in the city of Wuhan late past year and has spread widely since.

While the global pandemic originated in China months ago, the epicentre has shifted to other regions of the world, hitting southern Europe and some of the biggest USA cities hard.

China registered nearly 3,300 deaths and more than 81,000 infected.

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Despite the rising number of cases, most people who contract the virus suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery.

China has seen a slowdown in local infections, but has continued to report imported infections.

The Epoch Times also received leaked government data from the Wuhan health commission, showing that local authorities are purposefully underreporting positive diagnoses.

All domestic airlines were allowed to operate only one flight to each country per week, while foreign aviation companies should keep only one air route to China and there should be no more than one flight every week for each of the air route to China, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a circular that will be effective from March 29.

Shanghai will require every worldwide traveler arriving as of 6 p.m. local time March 26 to self-quarantine for 14 days, the local government announced.

However, it's worth noting that the vast majority of these cases do not involve foreign nationals.

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