The Ministry of Health and Wellness has advised residents not to travel to China or South Korea unless absolutely necessary.
The recommendation follows a previous advisory, issued last month, warning against non-essential travel to Hubei Province in China after the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in its capital, Wuhan.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George said the Ministry’s Emergency Organizing Committee has been closely monitoring the international situation and the decision to extend the advisory to include all areas of China and South Korea was based on the latest available information provided by the World Health Organization and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
In mainland China, authorities have reported 78,497 cases of COVID-19 and 2,744 deaths since the virus was first identified in Wuhan last December. There are now more than 1,700 cases in South Korea.
Dr George further advised people travelling to Italy and Iran, which have both reported clusters of COVID-19 cases, to take all necessary precautions related to respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene.
Enhanced surveillance is also now in place at the ports of entry for passengers arriving from all these destinations.