Australia should lift its ban on foreign nationals entering its territory directly from Mainland China, China’s ambassador to Australia reportedly said on Monday. Australia, which is China’s largest trade partner has 15 confirmed cases of coronavirus, international media reported. Meanwhile, the deadly coronavirus has infected over 71,000 people globally and killed nearly 1,775 with 5 people outside mainland China.
In an effort to curb the increasing spread of the deadly virus, the Australian government since February 1 has prevented everyone excepts its citizens and permanent resident to enter the country directly from mainland China, international media reported. However, Cheng Jingye, China’s ambassador’s to Australia said that the number of cases in Australia has been steady and that the restrictions should be eased after Canberra reviews its policy on February 22.
Jingye added that they have expressed their strong wish and “hope” that the Australian government will take a “balanced approach” and remove the restrictions. He added that at the very least they relax them. He also said that the policy is inconsistent with the WHO recommendation, international media reported. This comes as, Australian PM Scott Morrison, despite the rising economic pressure said that Canberra would be only guided by medical experts.
Meanwhile, Australia has reportedly announced that it will evacuate more than 200 citizens quarantined onboard the coronavirus-stricken cruise liner docked off in the port of Yokohama, South Tokyo. Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that Australian nationals will depart on chartered planes on February 19 and will be taken to Australia's tropical north, confirmed reports.
Morrison reportedly said, that evacuees that returned to Darwin, Australia, will be required to be quarantined by the Health Officials for another 14 days. He said that the decision has been taken in order to prevent further spread of the COVID-19 via human transmission within the country.