The Japanese Foreign Ministry has urged its citizens not to travel to China because of the possibility of the further spread of a new virus
MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press
January 31, 2020, 8:32 AM
2 min read
TOKYO -- The Japanese Foreign Ministry on Friday urged its citizens not to travel to China because of the possibility of the further spread of a new virus.
Japan had previously warned people not to travel in Hubei province, where most of the thousands of cases have occurred.
In expanding the advisory against non-essential travel throughout China, the ministry cited concerns about the disease spreading and noted other countries such as the U.S. were giving similar advice.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also said Japan will ban entry of foreigners infected with the new coronavirus.
Abe also said the designation of the new virus as a special infectious disease will take effect Saturday, a week earlier than planned. The designation allows health officials to order hospitalization of patients and take other measures and follows the World Health Organization's declaration of the illness as a state of emergency.
China has reported thousands of infections and more than 200 deaths from the coronavirus since it was detected in December. Japan's 14 cases include two person-to-person transmissions, a tour guide and driver who escorted Chinese tourists from Wuhan.
Transportation Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said his ministry has ordered the tour bus company that employed the two patients to have all its employees take medical checks.
Japan has evacuated hundreds of citizens from Wuhan this week. A third chartered flight brought back more than 190 people from Wuhan earlier Friday, after evacuating 416 on two earlier flights.
Associated Press writer Foster Klug contributed to this report.