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Asian gov’ts warn citizens to avoid trips to new coronavirus-hit areas

 Several Asian governments on February 11 raised their travel warning for the new coronavirus, officially called Covid-19, as the death toll from the epidemic in mainland China soared past 1,000.

The government of Taiwan (China) asked its citizens to avoid all non-essential trips to Hong Kong and Macau and advised them to take precautions if going to Singapore and Thailand.

The Republic of Korea also strongly advised its nationals to limit their travel to Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore, in addition to China.

The measure is part of efforts to prevent the inflow of the novel coronavirus into the country through a third nation, said Kim Gang-lip, deputy head of the RoK’s central disaster headquarters during a regular press briefing.

According to the RoK’s Centres for Disaster Control and Prevention (CDC), as the numer of the Covid-19 infections has reached 36 in Hong Kong and 10 in Macau, and the two are designated as contaminated areas. Every person arriving from the two territories must undergo an individual body temperature check and submit a health status report.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised the alert level for travel to Singapore to Yellow, the second level in a four-tier system, urging its citizens to take extra precautions when they visit the neighbouring country.

"All travelers to Singapore are urged to take extra precautions to prevent transmission of the virus," the Foreign Affairs Ministry said on its website.

Indonesians who plan to visit or are already in Singapore have been told to keep themselves fit, improve hygiene and avoid unnecessary outdoor activities.

The new warning was issued after Singapore upgraded its disease outbreak response system to Orange, the same level applied for the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003.