Government advises against 'non-essential travel' to China

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 27-01-2020 11:57:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s ministry of foreign affairs has advised against "non-essential trips" to China due to the new coronavirus, justifying the alert on possible health risks and present limitations on circulation within the country.

Referring that the Chinese health authorities and the World Health Organisation confirmed the occurrence of a serious outbreak of pneumonia, caused by a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV.), with epicentre in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the Portuguese government launched the warning to avoid, at this moment, and until the current situation is reviewed by the Chinese authorities, non-essential trips to China.

"Not only because of the possible health risks, but also because of the present limitations in the circulation inside the country," the ministry said in the notice published on Sunday in the Portal of the Portuguese Communities, recommending permanent attention to the constant evolution of the situation, as well as to the information disclosed in the portals of the General Health Directorate, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organisation.

Travellers should register their trips in the Traveller Registration application.

"Residents are recommended, if they have not already done so, to proceed with their consular registration or update at the post with jurisdiction over the area of residence," the ministry said.

The new coronavirus was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan (centre) at the end of 2019 and has already caused the death of 56 people in China.

More than 2,000 people have been reported infected, most of them in mainland China, but there are also confirmed cases in Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Singapore, Vietnam, Nepal, Malaysia, France, Australia and Canada.

In Portugal, the infection of a man who was hospitalised on Saturday in Lisbon after returning from Wuhan has not been confirmed.

Chinese Health Minister Ma Xiaowei warned on Sunday that those infected may transmit the disease during the incubation period, which takes between one day and two weeks.

During that period, the infected people show no symptoms, which nullifies the effect of screening measures such as temperature measurement at airports or train stations.

Symptoms include fever, pain, general malaise and breathing difficulties.

In this context, the Chinese Government has issued a communiqué to tour operators in the country requesting the suspension of group travel packages throughout China.

In Beijing, tourist sites, cultural venues and concert halls have been preventively closed.


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