Self-protection combined with honoring the original victims: A man wearing a face mask writes Chinese calligraphy in Hanoi on February 4 amid concerns of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Photo: AFP / Nhac Nguyen

As the numbers of confirmed China cases of and deaths from the coronavirus continue to rise various countries have taken corresponding measures in bids to prevent and control the epidemic, including strengthening their entry and exit administration.

Meanwhile, some countries directly prohibit Chinese from entering and media in some make things worse by publishing cartoons and periodical works containing humiliating content.

Overseas entry and exit controls on Chinese, and especially on people from Hubei province, have affected many people who can cite good reasons for leaving the country.

Xiong Anna, from Jingzhou in Hubei province, told Asia Times that she needed to go abroad to consult with clients and follow up relevant projects locally. On account of the epidemic, she is unable to travel abroad on business, and is likely to be withdrawn from the project team by the company.

Xiong said her planned business trips were to Malaysia and Vietnam. She found that those countries have banned many people from Hubei from entering and set up obstacles for those not on the outright ban list.

Asia Times checked the relevant news and found that since February 1, Vietnam has completely banned all foreigners, including Chinese, from entering the country, and 99% of flights have been canceled.

Malaysia has temporarily refused entry to people who hold Chinese passports and whose place of issue or birth is Hubei since January 27.

According to reports, at least 62 countries announced measures to control the entry and exit of Chinese citizens before February 1. Among them, six countries have adopted visa tightening measures for Chinese citizens, four countries have adopted entry restrictions and five countries have imposed key entry controls on people whose passports are issued in Hubei and those who have travel experience in Hubei.

On the other hand, 47 countries take measures such as requiring temperature tests and health declarations for Chinese citizens entering the country.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) announced on January 27 that it had banned Chinese citizens from entering the country – and was quarantining and observing recent arrivals for 30 days.

Russia tested the temperature of incoming Chinese tourists and announced that all Sino-Russian border crossings were closed from January 31, suspending the processing of e-visas for Chinese tourists to visit Russia.

Japan has previously stepped up testing of Chinese immigrants, and the latest news shows that foreigners who have stayed in Hubei within 14 days before the date of entry application and Chinese holding passports issued in Hubei have been refused entry since February 1.

Both the United States and Singapore announced that tourists who had visited China in the previous 14 days would be banned from entering from February 2. The United States said that Chinese flights could only enter New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and seven other airports for screening.

Singapore announced that permanent residents and long-term permit holders could enter the country, but they had to take the initiative to apply for 14 days off.

Many Chinese students in Australia who returned home for the Spring Festival will not be permitted to return to school on time and will have to contact the school authorities to postpone enrollment.

Chen Tian, who is studying in Australia and returned home for the Spring Festival this year, told Asia Times that her plans to return to Australia were all disrupted. She is worried that, if Australian schools do not postpone the opening of the school year, she will face a great academic burden after returning to Australia if not a resulting delay in graduation.

Although various countries have implemented a series of immigration control measures on China in response to the epidemic, many countries still lend a helping hand and try their best to help China. Japan, South Korea, Russia and other countries have donated face masks, protective clothing and other medical supplies to China.

Officials from Japan’s Ministry of Health and Labor also called at a press conference for Japanese not to discriminate against Chinese people because of the epidemic. “What is bad is the virus, not people.” The South Korean side also expressed its willingness to tide over the difficulties with China.

However, there are also a few countries whose media made humiliating and insulting remarks about China. Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten published a cartoon that insulted China, and the German magazine Der Spiegel wrote on the cover of the latest issue that “the new coronavirus is made in China.”

In the face of a severe epidemic, it is understandable that some countries strengthen entry and exit controls but foreigners should bear in mind that the Chinese people are fighting the epidemic with all their strength.

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