China reports 55 new coronavirus cases, prepares for entry ban
China has reported 55 new coronavirus infections and five deaths over the past day, as the country prepares to shut its borders to most foreigners in an effort to curb imported cases of the virus.
According to the National Health Commission, all but one of the new cases reported on Friday were found among travellers returning from abroad.
The country on Thursday said it would suspend the entry of foreign nationals holding valid visas and resident permits in a move to curb the number of imported cases of the coronavirus.
The ban becomes effective on Saturday.
Also on Thursday, the government said it would severely limit both outbound and inbound international flights.
According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), each Chinese and foreign airline will be able to operate only one international flight per week between China and any given country.
Each flight should not exceed 75 per cent of passenger capacity.
The measure becomes effective on Sunday, the administration said.
So far, the country has reported a total of 81,340 coronavirus infections including 3,292 deaths and 74,588 recoveries. (dpa/NAN)