The US said Monday a ban on travelers from China meant to contain the deadly coronavirus outbreak was supported the simplest science, adding there would be more evacuations of usa citizens .
It came because the number of confirmed US cases rose to 11, including the second confirmed person-to-person transmission inside the country, this one involving a patient in California.
China has accused the US of spreading “panic” by banning the entry of foreign nationals who had traveled to the country over the past fortnight and announcing quarantine measures for americans .
Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), defended the “aggressive” measure.
“A few weeks ago there have been 41 cases in China, this morning the numbers are 17,000 — that’s 17,000 cases with a completely unique coronavirus that the population doesn’t have immunity to,” she said, adding: “We have the chance to slow it down before it gets into the us .”
China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during an appointment the US had did not provide “any substantial assistance,” a claim that Messonnier denied.
“We at CDC have incredibly strong scientists who have tons of technical experience in really similar diseases… and our presence on the bottom in China are going to be a help,” she said.
“What I’ve seen is that in situations like this, science should trump everything else.”
There are currently 195 Americans including diplomats and their families in quarantine at a military base in California after being evacuated last week from Wuhan, the town at the middle of the epidemic, and more such flights were planned, said Messonnier.
“Over the weekend, CDC sent four additional teams to specific Department of Defense locations where those planes will arrive,” she said.
Speaking to reporters earlier in Taskhent, Uzbekistan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the timing of the flights was being coordinated with China and would happen “in subsequent few days” while flights from other countries were being considered too.
Messonnier said the 11 US patients had varying degrees of illness — some “pretty mild,” others more severe and requiring oxygen.
Last week the US declared a public health emergency over the pathogen, which has killed quite 360 people and spread globally.
American citizens coming back from Hubei province are to be placed in quarantine, while those coming back from other parts of China are going to be put in monitored home isolation if asymptomatic. All are going to be funneled through 11 major airports.
The ban on foreign nationals who have traveled to China within the past fortnight exempts Hong Kong and Macau.