Remember: it’s for your own safety, nothing to worry about here…
Wait for the ordinary seasonal flue to kick in, and we have PANIC across the planet.
That is when they will hit – full scale.
Coronavirus quarantine precautions around the world
On Tuesday night, at least 144 people who have been trapped in Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak, are expected to arrive in Thailand on an evacuation flight. They will remain in isolation for 14 days, reportedly at a navy base in Chonburi province. The exact details of where they will be quarantined has not been made public in case there is opposition from local people, according to the broadcaster Thai PBS news.
The country is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Chinese people during the lunar new year break, and officials have warned that an outbreak is possible in its tourist areas. All arrivals from China are being screened at airports, while temperature scanners are being used in malls, and hand sanitiser given out in shops and on the transport system.
On Tuesday, it was announced that six more people in Thailand had been infected with the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases recorded so far to 25. The country confirmed its first case of human-to-human transmission of the virus last week, after a taxi driver was apparently infected by a traveller.
Hundreds more people have been undergoing investigation in hospitals, though most have been found to have seasonal influenza, according to the ministry of public health. Of the 25 cases recorded so far in Thailand, eight have since been discharged from hospital.
Not all countries in south-east Asia are offering to evacuate their citizens. Cambodia has refused to do so, prompting criticism that the country was prioritising economic interests and diplomatic relations over public health. Its leader, Hun Sen, said that an evacuation flight “would strain relations between the countries”. Cambodia has introduced screening at airports, though some reports have questioned how effectively this is being implemented.
In Indonesia, 238 nationals were sprayed with disinfectant by staff in protective suits as they disembarked from an evacuation flight on Sunday. After an examination, they were flown to Natuna island, where they have been placed in quarantine at Raden Sadjad airbase for two weeks. Indonesia has temporarily banned flights to and from mainland China, and said it won’t allow those who have been there in recent weeks to enter or transit. The country has also urged citizens to temporarily stop travelling there.
Malaysia evacuated 107 people from Hubei on Monday, with aircraft staff donating 500,000 pairs of rubber gloves as a gift to the Chinese government. Two people, who did not pass a health screening upon arrival, were sent to Kuala Lumpur hospital. Others were taken to a surveillance centre at an education academy, where they will remain for 14 days. The country has suspended all visas on arrival for travellers from Hubei, but not elsewhere.
Following growing public pressure, the Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, banned arrivals from across China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. On Sunday, a 44-year-old Chinese man visiting the Philippines became the first person to die from the new coronavirus outside China. Authorities are now racing to trace those who had contact with the man, who had visited three provinces.