The growing coronavirus epidemic is isolating China, as other countries, trying to ward off infection or contain their own smaller outbreaks bar, entry to travellers from China, and companies including Apple scale down travel and business there.
The vast majority of infections and all deaths are still inside China, and concentrated in Hubei province. By Saturday, 13,968 cases and 304 deaths had been confirmed, 45 of them overnight in Hubei province. But the rapid spread of the virus beyond Chinese borders has raised fears that other countries could face large-scale outbreaks, and many governments are taking increasingly strong measures to prevent an epidemic on their territory.
On Saturday, Australia followed the US by imposing a ban on entry to most travellers from China. Canberra said citizens, residents or relatives would still be allowed in. Countries including Uzbekistan and Vietnam cancelled flights from China altogether.
Dozens of commercial carriers have cut back or halted flights to China, and several hotel chains have said they will allow cancellations by Chinese travellers. Major companies such as Google and Facebook have banned travel to the country, while international retailers such as Starbucks and Apple have shut stores.
In Hong Kong, where there are strong memories of the impact of the 2003 Sars outbreak, thousands of hospital staff went on strike, demanding that authorities close the border.
Cases of human-to-human transmission, which has driven the fast rise in infections inside China, have been detected in Germany, Thailand, Taiwan, France, Japan and the US.
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