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US tells Americans avoid travel, ‘return to US immediately’ or prepare to stay abroad ‘indefinitely’

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. (CDC/TNS)
March 20, 2020

Americans should not travel abroad and citizens abroad are encouraged to come home as soon as possible or possibly face being abroad indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the State Department warned on Thursday.

The State Department issued a Travel Advisory 4, the highest possible level of travel advisory, which advises Americans “in countries where commercial departure options remain available” to “arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.”

Such a high warning has only been issued for Americans traveling to  Syria, Iran, Yemen, and North Korea in the past. But as the coronavirus spreads quickly, stopping global flights may help contain the deadly virus.

“Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice,” the statement said.

“Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips,” the State Department warning added. “If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.”

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On Saturday, the State Department authorized U.S. personnel and family members from any diplomatic or consular post in the world who have determined they are at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19 or who have requested departure based on a commensurate justification. to return home.

“These departures may limit the ability of U.S. Embassies and consulates to provide services to U.S. citizens,” the statement added.

As fear over the coronavirus, also called COVID-19, rise, President Donald Trump has announced several plans to combat the coronavirus in several ways, notably, by stimulating the economy possibly by implementing a temporary universal basic income of $1,000 to each qualified citizen, similar to what the government did after 9/11. Trump also warned that the pandemic could also last until August and even cause a recession.

Trump has also announced that additional coronavirus testing kits, which has been an issue for hospitals in the country, as there are only a limited number. The limited number of testing kits is one reason why some experts believe the number of infected cases is much higher than the 13,000 confirmed cases in the United States so far. Trump said that 5 million will be available at the end of the month.

According to John Hopkins’ latest tracking data, across the globe, there are more than 242,000 cases of coronavirus, more than 9,800 deaths from the coronavirus. Notably, more than 84,000 people have recovered from the virus. There are at least 200 deaths in the United States from the virus so far.

With the National Institute of Health’s funding, the first COVID-19 vaccine, called mRNA-1273, began the first phase of testing on Monday in Seattle at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.