WASHINGTON– The United States on Saturday announced additional travel restrictions affecting Iran, Italy, and South Korea in order to contain coronavirus outbreak.
Vice President Mike Pence, during a press conference with President Donald Trump, said additional restrictions include an entry ban for any foreigner who has visited Iran within the last 14 days and upgraded travel advisories to Italy and South Korea. The announcement comes moments after the US Health Department announced first death from coronavirus in the country.
"The president has authorized action today to add additional travel restrictions on Iran... We will be banning travel from Iran. Iran is already under a travel ban but we are expanding the existing travel restrictions to include any foreign national who has visited Iran in the last 14 days," Pence said.
"We are going to increase, to the highest level advisory -- which is Level 4 -- advising Americans: Do not travel to specific regions in Italy and South Korea," he added. "We are urging Americans to not travel to the areas in Italy and the areas in South Korea that are most affected by the coronavirus," he added.
During a weekly presser, Trump announced that 22 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the United States, adding that Washington is prepared to deal with the situation.
The US President also announced that he will meet with the largest pharmaceutical companies to discuss the development of coronavirus vaccine. Four new cases of the disease were reported on Friday.
Coronavirus has spread to more than 45 countries including the UK, Singapore, Italy, France, Russia, Spain, and India. The World Health Organisation has declared the outbreak an international health emergency and said the global risk level remains high.
The US stock market fell for the seventh straight day amid fears of global economic damage from the escalating outbreak, and the Federal Reserve took the unusual step of issuing a statement to reassure the Americans.
In China - the epicenter of the deadly disease - the National Health Commission reported on Saturday at least 47 new coronavirus deaths, raising the death toll to 2,835 nationwide.