US Restricts Travel to China

US Restricts Travel to China

Tony Ureste, Contributor

As the Corona virus grows in popularity, it is becoming recognized as a harmful threat globally. As of now, there are currently over 19 thousand people infected worldwide, with the majority of  the infections taking place in China, where the disease was first discovered. The death toll in China recently peaked at 420 confirmed deaths, from the Corona virus. Most of the deaths involved elderly citizens in China with weakened immune systems. Regardless of who is infected and how they were infected, the problem is still present and will continue to spread and infect more people. Threatening the lives of people around the world.

In order to prevent further spreading of the disease, many national airports that travel around the globe have restricted traveling to and from China. Airlines including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and American Airlines have announced plans to decrease the number of flights going to China and even considered stopping all flights going to the country entirely. The World Health Organization, or W.H.O. for short, declared the recent outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. The United States response to this was to urge citizens to avoid traveling to China, issuing a level 4 threat, the highest level indicating the highest likelihood of a life threatening risk.

The United States Department of Homeland Security reported that within the last 2 weeks alone, there were 11 airports where people could has traveled internationally to and from China. With the new restrictions in place as of Sunday, February 2nd, any United States citizen that has returned from China’s Hubei Province within the past 2 weeks, will be subject to mandatory quarantine. This order was inforced by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. Any other passenger that has traveled to the other parts of mainland China, will be examined and screened at the airport, and if necessary will be asked to self-quarantine themselves, for the safety of themselves and others. Secretary Chad Wolf stated that, “Once back in the U.S., it’s imperative that individuals honor self-quarantine directives to help protect the American public”.These new restrictions are also currently being applied to other nations. Any person of a different nationality that have recently been to China, will be denied entry to the United States. This restriction will only be temporary.

As for the Chinese people, the restrictions applied to them are far different. Chinese nationals flying from China and other international flights, will be denied access into the country and be sent back. This reaction has sparked the Chinese government and stated that restricting their citizens from traveling in the country was an inappropriate overreaction. “Even American media and experts doubted the government’s decision, saying that the US government’s restrictions on China are precisely what the WHO rejects, that the US is turning from overconfidence to fear and overreaction, and that banning the entry of foreigners who traveled to China in the past 14 days is suspected to be violating civil rights instead of reducing risks of virus spreading,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.