US Urges its Citizens to Reconsider Travelling to China, Sri Lanka Suspends Visa on Arrival for Chinese Travellers.

Healthwire Bureau

New Delhi, January 27: Post the Coronavirus outbreak, several countries have started issuing travel advisory as well as imposing restrictions for travellers from China.

China on Tuesday said that 106 people have died from coronavirus epidemic as the confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the outbreak stand at 4,515.

“Reconsider travel to China due to novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory,” the US State Department said in a travel advisory issued on Monday, which replaces the one issued only last week on January 23.

“A novel (new) coronavirus is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness that began in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This outbreak began in early December 2019 and continues to grow. Chinese health officials have reported thousands of cases throughout China,” the State Department said. For the Wuhan province, the advisory has been raised to Level 4 and for China it has been from Level 2 to 3.

On January 23, the Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency US personnel and their family members.

Another country Sri Lanka suspended its policy of granting visa on arrival for Chinese travellers on Tuesday, a day after the health authorities detected the country’s first coronavirus infection. Sudath Suraweera, the chief epidemiologist of the country’s health ministry, said on Monday that a 40-year-old Chinese woman was found positive for the virus.

“She arrived on January 19 and was tested positive for the virus when she was leaving the airport on January 25. She was admitted to the infectious diseases hospital,” he said. Following the first detection of the coronavirus case, the Sri Lankan health authorities ordered the suspension of the on arrival visa policy for the Chinese nationals. Travellers from China must apply for visa via the online portal, the authorities said.

The officials at Colombo international airport said the entry to airport’s arrival and departure terminals had been restricted to passengers only. Sri Lanka has become a major travel destination for Chinese tourists. Many Chinese nationals also work on Chinese-funded infrastructure projects – including a sea port, port city and highways.

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