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British Government Issues Updated Travel Advice for its Returning Nationals

Prominent British scientists have called a travel ban from China to the United Kingdom until the development of coronavirus vaccine as the Government is facing backlash for showing weak response to coronavirus outbreak which has killed 638 people.

Experts say such travel restrictions are worth implementing because it gives valuable time to virologist for creating a vaccine which can prevent the spread of this outbreak on home soil.

Two leading specialists of infectious disease Professor John Edmunds and Professor Paul Hunter give stark warning in a meeting by the Science Media Centre. Their calls for ramping up measures come amid backlash at the weak response of the Government towards the outbreak.

A Professor at the University of East Anglia, Paul Hunter said the travel ban will give time to the vaccinologists for making a vaccine and its mass production. He added this ban would just delay the response for long if the coronavirus epidemic keeps spreading around the globe at this rate. He said if the person-to-person transmission comes out elsewhere these travel bans would be of no value.

A Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, John Edmunds also agreed that travel bans would buy them valuable time. He said it is a worth implementing measure. Experts said the travel restrictions are needed before this deadly virus takes hold in other nations, especially neighboring countries.

Image courtesy: Reuters

UK Government has issued updated travel advice that simply warned its returning nationals from China and other countries including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Macau to call NHS 111 and quarantine themselves in case of feeling ill.

Authorities announced the updated advice after a businessman was confirmed to be the third case of coronavirus in the United Kingdom and he had not visited China.

Furious British citizens have slammed the weak preventive measures and forcing ministers to close the borders and asking for serious guidance. Others have asked if it’s the time they need to wear face masks. It comes after the second confirmed case of the UK national, Alan Steele who caught the lethal disease on a cruise ship off the Japan coast. He gave positive test results despite showing no symptoms.

Also read-China Order Officials to Put Suspected Coronavirus Patients in Quarantine

Coronavirus has killed approximately 60 people and 31,000 cases have been noted in 28 countries around the globe. Countries that have imposed travel bans include the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.

Image courtesy: Daily Mail

The Department of Health refused to comment on the demands for a travel ban. Authorities claim to be following the WHO’s advice that states travel bans can be disruptive and harm the economies of affected countries and also discourage China from being transparent about coronavirus outbreak.

In other advancements to this growing outbreak:

  • British tourist, Alan Steele was hauled from a cruise line and taken to the hospital after showing positive tests for coronavirus.
  • Officials launched a frenzied appeal for anyone who has spent 15 minutes with the third coronavirus Britain patient
  • Authorities say British businessman caught the life-threatening virus at a business conference while staying in a five-star hotel.
  • The local media reported the conference was held by the British company which provides stable gas measurements
  • Chinese central government has ordered Wuhan to put all the suspected patients and their close contacts in quarantine camps
  • Wuhan Officials are carrying out door-to-door medical checks for identifying coronavirus carriers who would require being isolated.

Ministers have not yet announced the travel bans, a measure demanded by furious Brits to combat coronavirus outbreak. There is not any announcement by the Government despite 16 other countries including Iraq and Saudi Arabia is doing it. UK is still bound to the laws of EU immigration and obligated to follow any decision made by the bloc, in spite of having technically left. 

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Amna Rana

Amna Rana, a writing enthusiast and a microbiologist. Her areas of interest are medical and health care. She writes about diseases, treatments, alternative therapies, lifestyles and the latest news. You can find her on Linkedin Amna Rana.

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