China unhappy with Australian decision

Discussion in 'Politics' started by themickey, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. themickey


    • Australia extends coronavirus travel ban a week as death rate surges
      Eryk Bagshaw
      Updated February 14, 2020 — 3.31amfirst published February 13, 2020 — 11.58am

    • A temporary travel ban on all non-Australians travelling from China has been extended for another week as the number of coronavirus deaths surged and infections climbed by almost 15,000.

      Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government had "not taken the decision lightly" but the safety of Australians was his top priority, despite the economic consequences.

      Several companies have already closed their doors as coronavirus concerns affect restaurant and tourism operators.
      "My job is to protect the health of Australians," he said in Canberra on Thursday. "At the moment there is still a lot that is not known about this virus. The only message I have for China is one of sympathy and support."

      The original 14-day travel ban will be extended by a week from Saturday, meaning all non-Australian residents – including tourists and students travelling from China - will not be able to enter Australia until at least February 22. Mr Morrison said the ban would be reviewed on a weekly basis.

      The Chinese embassy in Canberra expressed its "deep regret and dissatisfaction" over the Australian government’s decision and urged it to lift "the restrictions as early as possible".

      The embassy said the World Health Organisation has repeatedly stressed that it does not recommend putting travel and trade restrictions on China.

      "Only Australia and a small number of countries have taken such extreme measures which are overreaction indeed," a spokesperson said.

      "We urge the Australian side to assess objectively and rationally the prevention and control measures taken by the Chinese side and the actual risk faced by Australian side."

      The decision comes after the number of coronavirus cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship jumped to 218. More than 40 new cases were confirmed on Thursday.

      About 3700 people are on board the ship, which usually has a crew of 1100 and a passenger capacity of 2670.Credit:Getty

      The ship had more than 220 Australians on-board when it set sail on January 20. At least twelve of those have contracted the virus and are now being treated in Japanese hospitals. The rest remain in quarantine aboard the ship along with 3500 others in Yokohama. In Australia, the number of cases has remained steady at 15 for the past week.

      On Thursday, the number of coronavirus deaths surged by 242 in China, double the previous daily record.

      The Hubei Health Commission, which has been managing the outbreak in the province at the centre of the COVID-19 epidemic, said it had revised its diagnosis methods and added 14,840 cases overnight.

      "Hubei Province has recently conducted investigations on suspected cases and revised the diagnosis results," the Commission said in a statement released on Thursday.

      China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs had earlier reported a notable rise in cure rates nationwide.

      Residents wear protective gear as they line up in a supermarket in Wuhan. Credit:Getty Images
      The recovery rates across China rose by between 6.2 and 8.2 per cent by February 12, as compared to a high of 2.6 per cent by 27 January. There were 5123 people reported to have recovered, compared to 1117 deaths as of Wednesday.

      "The figures show that treatment measures are starting to produce expected results across the country," the Ministry said.

      Hubei province reported on Thursday that 33,693 patients are still being treated in hospitals with at least 1437 critically ill. The government has had to turn gyms and small stadiums into wards in order to treat the influx of patients.

      Meanwhile, Japan reported its first fatality from coronavirus, only the second worldwide outside China. A woman in her 80s died from the virus in Kanagawa Prefecture, the same region outside Tokyo where the Diamond Princess ship is docked.

      Employees wear protective masks while carrying vegetables from trucks at a hospital in Wuhan. Credit:Getty

      In Vietnam, officials have locked down a village in Vinh Phuc province, just an hour north of Hanoi, after discovering a spike in coronavirus cases there - the first effort at a mass quarantine outside of China.

      Vietnam has also just announced its 16th confirmed case of coronavirus, and the patient is also from the same province. The village, Son Loi commune, will be shut off for at least two weeks, starting on Thursday, according to the Vietnam Express newspaper.

      The virus is also continuing to wreak havoc among major events organisers.

      The Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix, which was scheduled for April 17-19 in Shanghai was postponed on Thursday.

      The world's biggest smart phone expo, Mobile World Congress, has also been cancelled. Facebook, Nokia, Amazon, Vodafone and Nokia had all pulled out the event over health and safety concerns.

      Up to 100,000 delegates were expected to attend the congress in Barcelona.

      In Beijing, President Xi Jinping said China needed to "maintain stable economic operation and social harmony" amid the epidemic.

      The former chief of Hubei province, Jian Chaoling, became the Communist Party's highest profile casualty of the crisis on Thursday after he was replaced by Xi loyalist Ying Yong. The Hubei government has been criticised for its slow-response to the crisis when fears were first raised by doctors in December.

      The Chinese government has begun implementing a stimulus program to boost economic growth as companies claim force majeure and shops are shuttered.

      The virus-induced downturn is forecast to wipe up to 0.5 percentage points off economic growth in Australia in the three months to March.

      Australia sends up to 30 per cent of its exports to China. As a share of the total economy, it has the third highest level of exposure to China in the world.
  2. Banjo


  3. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

  4. themickey


    Vietnam quarantines community of 10,000 for coronavirus

    Hanoi: Vietnam has quarantined a community of 10,000 people near the capital Hanoi for 20 days because of fears the coronavirus could spread there, two local officials say.

    Police wearing masks guard a road checkpoint before entering the Son Loi commune in Vinh Phuc province, Vietnam.Credit:AP