China to ban foreigners due to surge in ‘imported COVID-19 cases’

Beijing: Chinese government has announced a temporary ban on all foreign visitors as ‘imported’ coronavirus cases rise.

Authorities have also limited Chinese and foreign airlines to one flight per week, and flights must not be more than 75% full.

“Temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation,” Chinese foreign ministry stated.

In recent weeks, China has successfully contained locally transmitted coronavirus cases. However, 54 new COVID-19 cases have been reported, all of which have been found to be of foreign origins – with one additional locally transmitted case.

According to National Health Commission, around 81,340 confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported in China with 3,292 casualties.
Earlier, China has announced that it will lift the lockdown in Wuhan, the city at the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, on April 8.

Ease in travel restrictions follows a significant reduction in new infections in Hubei, with new cases dropping to zero for five consecutive days from March 19.

The preventive measures, which have affected more than 60 million Hubei residents, have been heralded in China as having allowed the country to turn a corner in its fight against the outbreak. In the past week, there has been close to zero new local cases reported in China, with the focus shifting instead to stopping Covid-19 cases from being imported from overseas.