KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 – China has announced that it will deny entry to all foreigners and will also stop almost all international passenger flights, amid a rise of imported coronavirus cases.
“The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries,” China’s foreign ministry said, according to The New York Times.
The move comes as China successfully eradicated Covid-19 spread among locals, but is struggling to halt the increasing number of imported cases.
On Wednesday, all 67 positive coronavirus cases reported yesterday in China were people who had been infected overseas, just as 47 were reported the previous day.
From midnight of Friday, foreign residents of the country as well as foreigners with existing visas will be denied entry; and those who need to travel to China should apply for their new visas at Chinese embassies or consulates elsewhere.
New visas will only be extended to those in “necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs,” according to the ministry.
China is also taking other precautionary measures to stop the entry of foreigners into the country.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China ordered that all domestic or foreign airlines will only be allowed to fly a single passenger flight into China every week until further notice.
The halt may make it even harder for other nations to get supplies of N95 respirators, disposable surgical masks, and other personal protection gear from China for their own doctors and nurses.
Apart from that, the drastic ban will make it harder for returning Chinese citizens as they reportedly make up 90 per cent of entries into the country.
Despite this, the country is taking hard measures to discourage the citizens from returning, including Beijing’s statement that the country’s government health care insurance system may not include coronavirus infections acquired overseas.