U.S. declares public health emergency over coronavirus

World Today

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks about the coronavirus in the briefing room of the White House, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in Washington. From left are Department of Transportation, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, Joel Szabat, Acting Under Secretary for Policy, Azar, and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci.(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

The Trump administration declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a public health emergency to the U.S., and has ordered a temporary suspension of entry to people who pose a risk of transmitting the disease.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said that U.S. citizens who traveled to Hubei province, where the virus began its outbreak in Wuhan, in the past two weeks, will be subject up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to screen their health and provide proper care.

In a press conference at the White House on Friday, Azar added that foreign nationals, aside from immediate family or U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled to Western China within the past 14 days, will be denied entry into the U.S.

The U.S will also limit flights from China to seven U.S. airports.

The new measures become effective at 5 pm on Sunday, Feb. 2. Azar calls these actions “prudent.”