U.S. says nothing off the table on China travel curbs amid virus outbreak

FILE PHOTO: Passengers arrive at LAX from Shanghai, China, after a positive case of the coronavirus was announced in the Orange County suburb of Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 26, 2020. REUTERS/Ringo Chiu

(Reuters) – The United States is considering new steps to counter a coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 100 people in China and nothing is off the table in terms of possible travel restrictions for China, the U.S. health secretary said on Tuesday.

The United States, which so far has five confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, has urged Americans to reconsider travel plans to China because of the outbreak. It also warned specifically against travel to the Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak in China with thousands of cases.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said during a news conference that he had offered to send a team of U.S. infectious disease experts to China to assist with its public health efforts and urged them to be more transparent.

“Beyond that, all options for dealing with infectious disease spread have to be on the table, including travel restrictions,” he said.

The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that China has agreed that it can send international experts “as soon as possible.”

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru and Caroline Humer in New York; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Bill Berkrot


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