Mongolia And Hong Kong Close Their Borders With China As Coronavirus Deaths Rise
Hong Kong has announced major cuts to its transport links with mainland China, while Mongolia closed their border with the country amid the coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 100 people, according to the Guardian.
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s leader, said high-speed trains and ferries that cross the border would be suspended from Thursday and the number of flights to mainland China would be halved. Personal travel permits for mainland Chinese to the city have been suspended.
Several countries, including Japan, the U.S., and France, have announced they will evacuate their citizens from Wuhan, where the outbreak began in December and has since killed 106 people. The city has been quarantined, but their hospitals are completely overwhelmed.
According to China’s foreign ministry, the World Health Organization’s director general has criticized the evacuation plans.
“Tedros [Adhanom] said the WHO does not advocate for countries to evacuate their citizens from China, adding there was no need to overreact,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. “He said the WHO is confident in China’s ability to prevent and control the epidemic.”
Lam told Hong Kong residents to return from the mainland as soon as possible and to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days. Hong Kong has recorded eight cases of coronavirus.
About 4,515 cases of coronavirus have been recorded across China, including nearly 1,000 people in critical condition, according to state media.
More than 10 countries have confirmed cases of the disease, though patient numbers outside of China remain small.