Trump says US considering more travel restrictions for COVID-19

by BERNAMA / pic by AFP

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump (picture) said more travel restrictions into the United States were being considered to control the spread of the coronavirus after a sixth American died from the worldwide pandemic, reported Xinhua news agency.

“Yes, we are to certain countries where they have more of a breakout,” Trump told reporters on Monday in response to a question on whether his administration would close US borders to more countries affected by the virus. “We are doing that. We’ve already done it as you know with three countries in addition to China. So, we will be doing more.”

Aside from banning foreign nationals who have visited China in the past 14 days, the United States has also imposed travel restrictions from people coming in from Iran, Italy and South Korea – countries where the outbreak has been particularly severe.

Trump’s comments, made during a meeting on Monday with the heads of pharmaceutical companies called to discuss the pandemic, came as US health authorities reported that a sixth person in Washington state had died of the coronavirus.

The coronavirus has so far killed nearly 3,100 people globally and infected more than 88,000 others. While the US death toll itself was marginal, it has raised fears on what might happen if the virus becomes a pandemic within the country, just like in China.

To another question, he wasn’t ready yet to declare a national emergency over the outbreak.

“I don’t think you’ll need that because we’re in extremely good shape,” he said. “We’re prepared for anything. We can always do that (an emergency declaration) at a later date if we need, but I don’t think we need that now.”

Earlier, Trump heard from the heads of pharmaceutical companies, including big multinational brand names, that it will take at least a year to develop a “deployable” vaccine for the virus.