US State Department on March 18 warned American citizens not to travel abroad amid the Coronavirus pandemic and issued the highest possible level of the travel advisory. This comes as the number of infected cases rose to 14,371 across the US on March 19. The pandemic has also claimed 217 lives across the nation.
The Level 4 advisory issued by the American government asked the citizens to avoid all international travel due to COVID-19. In addition, it also advised Americans living abroad to avoid "all international travels." The States Department also asked people "in countries where commercial departure options remain available" to "arrange for an immediate return to the United States unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.
In addition, it said that almost all major airlines have cancelled international flights and cruise ships have suspended their operations warning that everyone who chooses to travel abroad may be forced to remain outside the US for an indefinite period of time.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump launched a scathing attack on China and said the world is paying a “very big price” for covering-up the facts on Coronavirus. During a press briefing along with the members of White House Coronavirus Task Force, Trump said that if the threats of the virus would have been made public at an earlier stage, the virus could have been contained to the area where it started.
The blame game between the US and China over the Coronavirus outbreak has not stopped and the White House National Security Council put out a tweet on March 19 criticising Beijing. It accused China of suppressing the initial reports of the Coronavirus outbreak and its severity which caused Chinese and international experts to miss critical opportunities to prevent a pandemic.
Image Credits: AP