Hours later, the government announced its 15th case, which appeared to confirm local transmission of the virus. A 72-year-old woman who had largely stayed at home was infected, likely via her son. He returned from a trip to Wuhan on Jan. 23.
By Sunday, with infections standing at more than 14,000 worldwide, nations continued to expand travel restrictions and bar visitors from China.
New Zealand said on Sunday that it would deny entry to visitors departing from or traveling through mainland China for two weeks starting on Monday. Citizens and residents of New Zealand will be allowed entry from China but will be required to quarantine themselves for 14 days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a meeting of ministers in Jerusalem on Sunday to make national preparations “because we estimate that the virus will arrive,” his office said in a statement. Along with preparations “to isolate those who have been infected and treat them” for two weeks at home, the country had temporarily closed “land crossings, seaports and airports to arrivals from China.”
Israeli citizens who visited China will be allowed to return, the statement said.
In addition, about 1,700 Chinese construction workers whose work permits had expired and who were supposed to return to China this weekend would be granted extended stays in Israel. They are being allowed to keep working rather than being replaced by newly recruited laborers who could potentially arrive with the virus, according to Israeli news reports.
The United States and Australia have also expanded travel restrictions, temporarily barring noncitizens who recently traveled to China.