Pentagon Warns Troops Against Travel to China in New Coronavirus Guidance

Pentagon Warns Troops Against Travel to China in New Coronavirus Guidance

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to almost 10,000 - surpassing the 8,099 cases of SARS that triggered a 2003 outbreak. The virus has caused 213 deaths in China where it emerged late past year.

While the vast majority of the almost 10,000 nCoV2019 infections around the world to date can be linked to people who live or have traveled through central China's Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, the virus is now spreading locally both in other parts of China as well as other countries. The vast majority of the cases have been in Hubei province and its provincial capital, Wuhan, where the first illnesses were detected in December.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Hubei province.

The move comes as a number of airlines announced they were halting or reducing flights to China as the country struggles to contain the spread of a deadly new virus.

In response, the U.S. State Department upgraded its travel warning to its highest level on Thursday, telling Americans to avoid all travel to China.

The general directive approved by Defense Secretary Mark Esper aligned with guidance already issued by the Centers for Disease Control, the State Department and other agencies, and will be followed up by more specific instructions from the regional combatant commands, DoD said.

It also is recommending all those now in China to leave.

His announcement came after El Al said earlier it was pausing flights to China for a two-month period due to the outbreak of the virus, which has infected nearly 10,000 people globally in just two months, a worrying sign of its spread that prompted the World Health Organization to declare the outbreak a global emergency.

Most remaining Israelis left Thursday on two flights to Ben Gurion Airport, the ministry said, adding that Israel's diplomatic missions in China were providing assistance to Israeli citizens still there.

According to Chinese authorities, the death toll in China from coronavirus has risen to at least 213, and the number of confirmed cases was approaching 10,000. It has sent three flights to bring citizens home.

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Over the past 24 hours, there were 38 new deaths and almost 1,740 reported cases.

Tedros said World Health Organization was not recommending limiting travel or trade to China, where transport links have shut down in places and businesses including Starbucks and McDonald's temporarily closing hundreds of shops.

Some 131 cases have been reported in 23 other countries and regions.

On Jan. 23, the State Department ordered the departure of all non-emergency USA personnel and their family members from Wuhan.

Chief medical health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix also addressed what the declaration Thursday of an worldwide public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) means for B.C.

Worsnop said she is hopeful that the World Health Organization will be able to hold countries accountable for disregarding its guidance, including pressing countries for scientific justification for their travel policies and calling out governments that have gone against its recommendations.

"Experts said that the virus spreads mainly through two channels at present, droplet transmission and close contact the infected patients", he said, adding that the State Post Bureau required express enterprises to take strict inspection and disinfection on the parcels, vehicles and workplaces to ensure the safety.

The announcement follows similar confirmations in Germany, Vietnam and Japan.

Coronavirus infections typically manifest as the common cold.

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