Washington: In an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus, US President Donald Trump said he will suspend all travel from Europe to the US for the next 30 days. Trump made the announcement in an Oval Office address to the nation, blaming the European Union for not acting quickly enough to address the novel coronavirus and saying U.S. clusters were ‘seeded’ by European travellers. Also Read - Coronavirus: New York Declares State of Emergency; Trump Says 'Not Concerned at All'
“After consulting with our top government health officials I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health of all Americans. To stop new cases from entering our shores we will be suspending all travel from Europe to our shores for 30 days,” Trump said. Also Read - COVID-19: 11 Deaths in US, Working Hard to Keep Numbers Low, Says Donald Trump
These travel restrictions which will come into effect from Friday, however, will not apply to the United Kingdom.
“Smart action today will prevent the spread of the virus tomorrow,” Trump said.
Hours before his address, Trump had tweeted saying that “The US is making a policy to prevent, detect, treat and create a vaccine against Coronavirus to save lives in America and the world”.
Notably, this move comes a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) called the new coronavirus outbreak a pandemic and urged governments to step up containment efforts.
There are 1,135 confirmed cases of the virus across the US, with 38 deaths, prompting Washington to declare a state of emergency on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the number of cases across the globe has risen to more than 124,000 with 4,500 deaths, including a jump in fatalities particularly in Iran and Italy, according to an AFP report.