US defends ban on Chinese travelers, more evacuations planned

Director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) doctor Nancy Messonnier speaks about the public health response to the outbreak of the coronavirus. (Reuters)

The US said Monday a ban on travelers from China meant to contain the deadly coronavirus outbreak was based on the best science, adding there would be more evacuations of Americans.

It came as the number of confirmed US cases rose to 11, including the second confirmed person-to-person transmission inside the country, this one involving a patient in California.

China has accused the US of spreading “panic” by banning the entry of foreign nationals who had traveled to the country over the past two weeks and announcing quarantine measures for American citizens.

Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), defended the “aggressive” measure.

“A couple of weeks ago there were 41 cases in China, this morning the numbers are 17,000 – that is 17,000 cases with a novel coronavirus that the population does not have immunity to,” she said, adding: “We have the opportunity to slow it down before it gets into the United States.”

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57