Friday, February 21, 2020

Re: Emergency Alert: Novel Coronavirus (UPDATED)

UPDATE: I did receive a response from the Consulate in Chengdu and understand from a State Department employee that the other consulates may not consistently be monitoring emails because several staff assisted with the Wuhan evacuations.

Hello Sir,

Thank you for your concern.

Both of these messages pertain to the same situation and provide the same basic information. The Department of State is doing its best to ensure that this information reaches the widest audience possible.

Very Sincerely,

American Citizen Services
U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu
Telephone: +86-028-8558-3992
Email: AmCitChengdu@state.gov

------------
Dear Ambassador, Consul or relevant federal worker,

Is this Emergency Alert below a recantation of the earlier statement from the Embassy on February 2: "Those currently in China should attempt to depart by commercial means"? See https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/China.html, where that information is still published. If it is not, I would like to know why you do not repeat that recommendation in every email message that you send to us. At considerable personal expense, I  returned to the homeland on Feb 17 based, in part, on the Dept. of State's recommendation. I am following here the protocols of the CDC and Dept. of Homeland Security. Please clarify as I have many American friends still there who want reliable and understandable information and suggestions from our government. Thank you.

Walk in balance,
Alexander Lee, JD, MSEL (Vermont Law '01)

On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 4:04 AM <americancitizensinchina@state.gov> wrote:
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Emergency Alert: Novel Coronavirus
Current Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019
There is an ongoing worldwide outbreak of a respiratory illness first identified in Wuhan, China, caused by a novel (new) coronavirus.  On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the source of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.  Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring.
What we recommend
U.S. citizens are urged to:
·         The Department of State's Travel Advisory for China is currently a Level 4- Do Not Travel to China due to novel coronavirus.   
·         Avoid contact with sick people.
·         If you decide to travel to China discuss your travel with your healthcare provider.  Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease.
·         Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
·         Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
·         Follow local authority instructions.
·         Closely monitor Travel.state.gov and CDC.gov for important information.
Before you travel
Due to the current public health situation, many countries have begun implementing strict screening procedures in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
·         Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in Hubei province, China in the previous 14 days may be subject to up to 14 days of quarantine.
·         Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in the rest of mainland China within the previous 14 days may undergo a health screening and possible self-quarantine.
·         Please read these Department of Homeland Security supplemental instructions for further details.
·         U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.  You may also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
·         If you travel, you should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive updates.
Presidential Proclamation on Novel Coronavirus
On Friday, January 31 President Trump signed a proclamation barring entry to the United States of most foreign nationals who traveled to China within the past 14 days. The proclamation is in effect as of February 2. This action follows the declaration of a public health emergency in the United States related to the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China. The full text of the presidential proclamation is available on the White House website at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/.
Passengers on Cruise Ships
U.S. citizens should reconsider travel by cruise ship to or within East Asia and the Asia-Pacific Region.  U.S. citizens planning travel by cruise ship elsewhere should be aware that, due to the current public health situation, many countries have implemented strict screening procedures in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.  This is a dynamic situation and U.S. citizens traveling by ship may be impacted by travel restrictions affecting their itineraries or ability to disembark, or may be subject to quarantine procedures implemented by the local authorities.  While the U.S. government has successfully evacuated hundreds of our citizens in the previous weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities. U.S. citizens should evaluate the risks associated with choosing to remain in an area that may be subject to quarantine and take the appropriate proactive measures. Passengers who plan to travel by cruise ship should contact their cruise line companies directly for further information on the current rules and restrictions, and continue to monitor the Travel.state.gov website for updated information.
China
On January 30, the Department updated the Travel Advisory for China from a Level 3: Reconsider Travel to Level 4: Do Not Travel due to COVID-19 first identified in Wuhan, China.  In an effort to contain the COVID-19, the Chinese authorities have suspended air and rail travel in the area around Wuhan.  On January 31, the Department of State ordered the departure of all family members of U.S. personnel under age 21 from China.  The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Hubei province.
We strongly urge U.S. citizens in Hubei Province, China, to contact concerned family members in the United States and elsewhere to advise them of your safety.
Hong Kong
On February 8, the Hong Kong government began enforcing a compulsory 14-day quarantine for anyone, regardless of nationality, arriving in Hong Kong who has visited mainland China within a 14-day period. This quarantine does not apply to individuals transiting Hong Kong International Airport and certain exempted groups such as flight crews. However, health screening measures are in place at all of Hong Kong's borders and the Hong Kong authorities will quarantine individual travelers, including passengers transiting the Hong Kong International Airport, if the Hong Kong authorities determine the traveler to be a health risk. The Hong Kong government temporarily closed certain transportation links and border checkpoints connecting Hong Kong with mainland China and suspended ferry services from Macau.  On February 10, 2020 the Department of State allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and their family members due to COVID-19 and the impact to U.S. Consulate personnel as schools and some public facilities have been closed until further notice.
If you need assistance in China
·         U.S. citizens in Hubei Province, China who need emergency assistance can contact the U.S. Embassy at CoronaVirusEmergencyUSC@state.gov.
·         To provide us with information about a U.S. citizen who is in Hubei Province, you may:
o   Contact the Department of State at CoronaVirusEmergencyUSC@state.gov‎.
o   Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

紧急公告:新型冠状病毒
当前流行的2019新型冠状病毒
由新型冠状病毒引发的呼吸道疾病正在向全世界蔓延,它的首发病例在中国武汉。2020211日,世界卫生组织(WHO)宣布该疾病的正式名称为COVID-19.
什么是COVID-19
2019冠状病毒病(COVID-19)是由一种病毒(更确切而言是一种冠状病毒)引起的,该呼吸道疾病最早在中国武汉疫情爆发中被发现。据统计,武汉的许多早期患者都去过当地的大型海鲜和动物市场,这表示该病有动物传人的特性。但后期统计表明,越来越多的患者表示没有接触过动物市场,这说明人与人之间的传播正在发生。
我们的建议
敦促美国公民:
  • 国务院发出的前往中国的旅行建议现阶段为第4级:鉴于新型冠状病毒,请勿前往中国旅行。
  • 避免与生病的人接触
  • 如果您决定前往中国,请先咨询您的健康顾问。年长或有潜在健康问题的出行者将会有更大的风险感染疾病。
  • 避免接触动物(活物或死物),动物市场和动物制品(比如说没有煮熟的生肉)。
  • 勤用肥皂洗手至少20秒。如果没有肥皂和水源的话,请用酒精洗手液代替。
  • 遵循当地权威的建议。
  • 密切留意Travel.state.gov and CDC.gov发布的重要信息。
在您旅行前
由于当前的公共卫生状况,许多国家已开始执行严格的检查程序,以防止COVID-19的传播。
  • 任何美国公民在回美国前如果在过去的14天内到访过中国湖北省应当隔离14天。
  • 任何美国公民回美国前如果在过去的14天内到访过除湖北省的中国大陆的其他地区,会被要求进行健康检查也可能会被要求自我隔离。
  • 请访问 Department of Homeland Security supplemental instructions 获取更多详细信息。
  • 美国公民可以留意媒体报道和当地实时更新的数据来规划自己的行程和活动。您也可以关注我们的Twitter  Facebook
  • 如果您要旅行,您可以注册Smart Traveler Enrollment Program来获得更多资讯。
关于新型冠状病毒的总统令
131日星期五,特朗普总统签署了一项公告,禁止在过去14天内到访过中国的大多数外国公民进入美国。 该公告自22日起生效。紧随其后美国因中国武汉COVID-19突发疫情宣布国家公共卫生紧急状态。关于总统令的全文请参阅白宫网站 https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/.
邮轮出行的旅客
美国公民应重新考虑是否乘坐邮轮前往东亚和亚太地区或在其区域内旅行。计划在其他地方乘邮轮旅行的美国公民应该意识到,由于当前的公共卫生状况,许多国家已经实施了严格的检查程序,以防止引起COVID-19的新型冠状病毒传播。由于疫情的情况一直都会有变动,乘船旅行的美国公民可能会受到旅行限制的影响,这些限制会影响他们的行程或是否能下船,或者可能会接受地方当局的检疫。尽管美国政府在过去几周中成功疏散了数百名公民,但存在被当局隔离的潜在风险的美国公民不应依赖遣返航班作为他们的选择。美国公民应该评估这些风险并且选择留在可能被当局隔离的地区,采取适当的积极措施。计划坐邮轮出行的乘客应该直接和邮轮公司联系以获取最新的相关法规和限制,并且持续关注Travel.state.gov获得更多最新资讯
中国
130日,美国国务院把对中国的旅行建议从第3级:上升到第4级:由于在中国武汉发现首例2019冠状病毒,请勿前往中国。为了控制疫情,中国政府已经暂停了武汉周边的航线和铁路线。131日,美国国务院命令从中国撤离所有21周岁以下的美国政府雇员家属。美国政府仅能为在湖北省内的美国公民提供有限的紧急服务。
我们强烈建议在湖北省的美国公民联系您在美国或其他地方的家人,告诉他们您的安全情况。
中国香港
28日,香港政府开始对所有在14天之内访问过中国大陆的访客,不论国籍,实行强制性的14天隔离。此隔离不适用于从香港国际机场过境的个人和某些获得豁免的团体,例如机组人员。但是,香港的所有边境地区都已实施了健康检查措施,如果香港当局确定旅客有健康风险,将隔离个别旅客,包括过境香港国际机场的旅客。香港政府暂时关闭了某些连接香港和中国大陆的运输线路和边境检查站,并暂停了澳门的渡轮服务。2020210日,美国国务院允许处理非紧急事务的美国政府雇员及其家属自愿撤离,由于COVID-19,学校和一些公共设施已经关闭直至另行通知,这对领事馆人员造成了一定影响。

如果您在中国需要帮助
  • 在湖北省的美国公民如需紧急帮助请联系美国驻华大使馆CoronaVirusEmergencyUSC@state.gov.
  • 如果您需要向我们提供在湖北省的美国公民信息,您可以:
联系美国国务院CoronaVirusEmergencyUSC@state.gov‎.
o 拨打美国和加拿大境内的免费电话1-888-407-4747; 从其他国家致电的话,请拨打1-202-501-4444。工作时间为美国东部标准时间早上8点到晚上8点,周一至周五(美国国定假日除外)。


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