China's Imported Cases Rise As Foreigners Banned And Flights Cut
In recent weeks China's tally of infections has dwindled dramatically, with only a handful of domestic patients each day. But just as the country appears to bring the outbreak under control, nations around the globe have been battling to control soaring numbers of infections in new hotspots.
On Thursday Beijing announced dramatic measures to curb arrivals into the country, including reducing the number of international flights, limiting the capacity on board to 75 percent, and imposing a ban on foreigners entering China.
The ministry said it was a "temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation." Diplomats and the crew of international airlines and vessels will still be permitted to enter.
Flights in and out of China will also be capped at just one route a week to each country, including for international airlines.
A series of strict measures had already been put in place to try and stem the wave of infections coming in.
All Beijing-bound international flights have been diverted to other urban centres, where passengers will first be screened for the virus.
There were another five deaths on Friday, according to the National Health Commission -- all in the province of Hubei where the virus first emerged late last year.
In total 81,340 people have been infected in China, and the outbreak has claimed 3,292 lives.