Coronavirus outbreak: US response to the deadly disease angers China

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Deutsche Presse-Agentur, staff writer

Beijing accused the United States of spreading “panic” after it announced it was banning visitors who come from the mainland

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, staff writer |
Published: 
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The WHO has recommended screening visitors at borders, rather than denying them entry

Beijing has accused the US of creating “panic” over the coronavirus outbreak, and of doing nothing “substantial” to help.

It comes after the US declared a public health emergency and said it would not allow Chinese nationals, or foreigners who had visited mainland China in the past two weeks, to enter the country.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday that the US had set a bad example to other countries.

She noted that the US had been the first country to withdraw its diplomats from Wuhan, and was now the first to ban travellers from the mainland.

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She also pointed out that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had warned against closing borders, because travellers may then try to enter countries unofficially, leading to the spread of the virus without anyone knowing.

The WHO instead recommended health screenings at entry points.

After the US announcement, Australia followed suit, imposing a ban on travellers from China.

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Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam enacted similar measures.

Other countries have put travel restrictions in place. Japan and South Korea have banned visitors who have recently been to Hubei province. Indonesia, Britain and Italy have all suspended flights to and from the mainland.

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