Coronavirus: The ban will come into effect on Friday at midnight. (Photo Credit: Twitter@WhiteHouse)
A day after the World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus outbreak as pandemic, US President Donald Trump suspended all travel from Europe to the US for the next 30 days, with the exception of the United Kingdom. The measure to stop the spread of coronavirus will come into effect on Friday at midnight. Trump said he will be taking “unprecedented” emergency action to offer financial relief for US workers and also will be asking Congress for immediate payroll tax relief.
The virus which has spread to at least 38 US states has already claimed 33 lives in the country.
On Wednesday, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was alarmed by the spread and severity of the outbreak, along with a lack of action taken to combat it. "COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic," he told reporters in Geneva. He said he expected the number of cases and deaths would grow in the coming days and weeks.
"We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus," he said. He also said hard-hit Iran was trying its best to control the outbreak but needed more supplies.
The novel virus reportedly first originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year and has claimed over 4,000 lives globally. In China, the virus has already claimed over 3,100 lives. Near 1 lakh people have now been infected with the COVID-19 strain in the mainland.
Meanwhile, India on Wednesday suspended all visas, except a few categories such as diplomatic and employment, till April 15 to prevent the spread of coronavirus as 10 new cases were reported taking the total number of patients in the country to 60.
However, as per state health officials, the number of confirmed cases maybe up to 65.
As the infection continued to spread its tentacles in the country, state governments and Union territories took a number of preventive measures.
(With agency inputs)