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Coronavirus: Countries shut borders to Chinese arrivals

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Countries around the world have closed their borders to arrivals from China, as officials work to control the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

The US and Australia said they would deny entry to all foreign visitors who had recently been in China, where the virus first emerged in December.

Earlier, countries including Russia, Japan, Pakistan and Italy announced similar travel restrictions.

But global health officials have advised against such measures.

“Travel restrictions can cause more harm than good by hindering info-sharing, medical supply chains and harming economies,” the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

The WHO recommends introducing screening at official border crossings. It has warned that closing borders could accelerate the spread of the virus, with travellers entering countries unofficially.

China has criticised the wave of travel restrictions, accusing foreign governments of ignoring official advice.

“Just as the WHO recommended against travel restrictions, the US rushed in the opposite direction,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. “[It is] certainly not a gesture of goodwill.”

BBC

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