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Our coverage on COVID‑19

Trump bans travellers from Europe entering the US

Following WHO’s announcement that the COVID-19 outbreak is now characterised as a Pandemic, the US government has announced a travel ban on travellers from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The travel restriction will take effect starting Friday, 13th of March at midnight.

The president added that the restrictions will be adjusted subject to changes on the ground. He added that there will be exemptions for Americans that have undergone screening. The new travel restriction will not apply to the United Kingdom. The US government is monitoring the situation in China and South Korea, and they will reevaluate the restrictions and warnings as the situation improves in those countries.

In his announcement, Trump blamed the European Union for failing to take necessary precautions to restrict travel to China and other coronavirus hotspots. As a result, there are a number of clusters in United States that are seeded from Europe. Trump says the US has made a life-saving move to restrict travellers from China and now they must take the same action on Europe.

The president has decided on the travel ban after consulting top government health professionals. He added that the ban on travellers from Europe was taken to protect the health and well-being of all Americans and to prevent new cases from entering their shores. Trump has also urged everyone to practice good hygiene and each and every one of us has a role to play to contain the coronavirus.

At the moment, there are 1,037 cases in the United States with 31 deaths reported so far. In Malaysia, there are 149 cases with zero deaths. Malaysia has also announced a travel ban for travellers from Italy, Iran and South Korea.

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Alexander Wong